Bill Gates, the second richest person in the world, has said that if a vaccine for COVID-19 is found that he and his foundation would put upwards of $150 million towards trying to make it as accessible and cheap as possible so it can reach all corners of the globe affected and not just the rich countries.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Gates discussed how the real focus should be on the more impoverished countries since they're being ravaged by this pandemic at the same rate as richer countries, if not worse. "We’re trying to make sure we can end it not just in the rich countries,” he said. "Those are the ones most scalable and low-cost.”
Putting his money where his mouth is, Gates and The Gates Foundation is funneling money into the largest global vaccination distributor, the Serum Institute, in efforts to lower production costs and make it so that the vaccines can be distributed at a much lower cost. Counting this $150 million going towards Serum, Gates has now pledged around $500 million towards different resources to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
“Because of the way you manufacture them, and the difficulty of scaling up, they are more likely — if they are helpful — to help in the rich countries," Gates told WIRED in an interview on Friday. "They won’t be the low-cost, scalable solution for the world at large."
The main concern for Gates is the accessibility a vaccine will have in poorer countries once it hits the global market, so all of the money he's pumping into these vaccination distributors is in a direct effort to combat that. Serum plans to manufacture and distribute a vaccine in India, the companies home base, as well as 91 other poor and middle-income countries as well, according to Vox.