Health workers should first have access to a coronavirus vaccine, Melinda Gates said last week during a virtual appearance at the Forbes philanthropy summit with husband Bill Gates.
“One of the reasons we are so involved in this is that you don’t want the first vaccines to reach the countries with the best offers,” said Melinda Gates. “There are 60 million health workers [around the world]. They deserve to get the vaccine first, they are the ones who take care of this on the front line, trying to keep us all safe. “
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“Then you have to start leveling from there, according to the countries and the populations,” continued Melinda Gates. “Here in the United States, it will be black people who should really get it first and many indigenous people, as well as people with underlying symptoms and then older people.”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which the foundation says will work to buy and distribute doses of vaccines to low-income countries.
Bill Gates said at the Forbes summit that he is buoyed by three vaccine candidates drawn up by Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Gates believes it is possible to scale up to 10 billion doses of a successful vaccine in two years to achieve herd immunity, he said at the summit.
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He also accused the United States of turning “inward” instead of collaborating with other countries to find solutions to the pandemic.
“Generally, the United States plays a role in global problem solving, so instead of withdrawing from WHO, they would be involved, collaborating with other countries, not just trying to put the blame,” Gates said.
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For example, President Trump said in April that he would suspend US funding to the World Health Organization for “errors” that he said helped spread the coronavirus.
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