Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates believes “almost all” the Covid-19 vaccines will work and work well, he said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
Already, vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have shown to be effective in early company data, and Gates said he expects vaccines from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax to have similar success soon.
“I’m optimistic that by February, it’s very likely they’ll all prove very efficacious and safe,” he said.
The billionaire Microsoft founder spoke with CNN on Friday, a day before more than 177,000 people tested positive for the virus and about 1,400 people died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The US has seen a huge surge in cases over the past few weeks, and Gates said he expects the number of daily infections to continue increasing. He said more than 2,000 people could die daily for a lot of the winter.
“We’re still climbing up (in cases) and that climb is expected to continue literally through February. And that’s where you get likely over 2,000 deaths per day during this winter period,” he said.
He recommended that Americans wear masks and be smart about public health practices.
“Ideally, people would say, ‘OK, because the medical tools are coming, we can double down on good behavior,’” he said. “You know, try not to have your family be the last death in this pandemic because you’re willing to see it through until the spring, which is when the vaccine will really start to cut the numbers down. And, of course, the change in weather will be helping us as well.”
Getting a working vaccine to the people and getting a majority of people to take the vaccine will be their own challenges as well. The logistics piece is “a bit confused” in the US, he said, but he was “hopeful” these issues will get worked out.
“You want to make sure that you don’t waste any of this vaccine, but in a slightly imperfect way, I do think the logistics will get solved,” he said. “I think that there will be enough people who jump in early on, that people see even more evidence of the safety, and that over time, we will get to that 70% plus level that we need in order to stop the spread of the disease.”
Personally, Gates’ own Thanksgiving holiday will have fewer family members than in a normal year.
“It’s not a time when people will be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving quite the way that they’d like to,” he said. “I’ll have a video connection with a lot of the family members on Thanksgiving Day, but not be with them to have turkey together.”