Melinda Gates called on rich countries to stop ‘hoarding’ coronavirus vaccines, saying it was disappointing that little was being done to prevent the pandemic from ravaging the developing world.
The American philanthropist told the Financial Times that developed countries should only vaccinate their populations “up to a point” before giving supplies to those who need them most.
“You don’t need to completely immunize, say, your teenage population. . . before sending vaccine doses, ”Gates said in a pre-recorded interview with editor-in-chief Roula Khalaf for the FT’s three-day Global Boardroom event.
“It’s incredibly unfortunate” that low-income countries haven’t received more blows, said Gates. Some “cannot even immunize their health workers”.
Covax, the mechanism backed by the World Health Organization to help poorer countries access Covid-19 drugs, needed $ 2 billion in additional funding and more vaccine supplies, he said. she declared.
Although she acknowledged that leaders in the West were under internal political pressure to protect their own citizens, Gates added that there was a practical and moral argument for them to donate supplies.
“It is beneficial for all of us to reopen the global economy,” she said.
The former Microsoft executive added that while vaccine research and development had been remarkably successful, the global vaccine manufacturing system “was not working” and had created bottlenecks.
“We have to have the manufacturing in a lot more places around the world so that we can get it [the supply] and you don’t have that hoarding problem we’re seeing right now.
The interview was taped before Melinda and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced they were ending their marriage after 27 years.
The couple have invested a large chunk of their estimated $ 124 billion fortune in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which seeks to improve healthcare and reduce poverty around the world.