By Emmanuel Nduka
As the Omicron variant of the covid-19 virus continues to surge across the world, Bill Gates has warned of pandemics potentially worse than the current one.
His made this comment while The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and British biomedical charity Wellcome Trust, on Tuesday pledged $150m (£109,995) each to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) in the fight against Covid and to prepare for future pandemics.
CEPI was co-founded five years ago during the Ebola epidemic. It co-leads Covax, the initiative to distribute Covid vaccines across the developing world.
14 vaccine projects, including those of AstraZeneca, Moderna and Novavax, were also funded by the CEPI.
“Those vaccines made a huge difference, saving lots of lives and getting out very quickly,” AFP quoted Mr Gates as saying.
“But the picture is mixed… we didn’t get the quantity to the developing countries as quickly as we wanted,” he added.
The global partnership, CEPI, is trying to raise $3.5bn (£2.6bn) to drastically reduce the time taken to produce a vaccine to within 100 days.
Mr Gates also urged governments to contribute billions of dollars to prevent the spread of future pandemics which could include fatalities far worse than the Covid pandemic.
He added that it had fallen on philanthropists and rich governments to address vaccine inequities and urged governments to contribute more.