Bill Gates Offers His Own Time Range for Vaccine

Anywhere from 9 months to 2 years from now, he writes
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2020 10:40 AM CDT
Bill Gates Sees 'Particularly Promising' Vaccine Contenders
Bill Gates is seen at a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Feb. 9, 2019.   (AP Photo/Samuel Habtab)

The world anxiously awaits a coronavirus vaccine, and according to Bill Gates, there are a bunch on the horizon that look especially favorable. The Microsoft co-founder says there are more than 100 vaccines in development right now, and of those, "eight to 10 ... look particularly promising," per his Thursday blog post on the matter. Gates notes that among those contenders are two traditional types of inoculations: inactivated ones, which contain non-living pathogens, and live ones, that have living but weakened pathogens. But what has him "particularly excited" are RNA and DNA vaccines, with the RNA one being of special interest, per Business Insider. Gates explains that in this type of vaccine, instead of the pathogen's antigen being directly injected into a patient's body, a genetic code is used instead that allows the body to produce its own antigens.

The body's immune system then attacks these self-created antigens, strengthening itself against future intruders. "You essentially turn your body into its own vaccine manufacturing unit," Gates notes. He writes that while he generally agrees with Dr. Anthony Fauci's assessment that it could take 18 months to get a vaccine on the market, he offers a wide range, thinking it could take "as little as nine months or as long as two years." CNBC notes that Gates gets deeper into efficacy numbers, with a belief that a 70% effective vaccine would be able to contain future outbreaks, whereas anything under 60% may not be. "It might be a bit hard to see right now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel," he writes, urging everyone to keep following guidelines put out by local authorities. (More Bill Gates stories.)

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