By the time the next pandemic arrives, Gates said he hopes to see “mega‐diagnostic platforms, which could test as much as 20% of the global population every week.” The overall cost to defend the world sounds huge, though not compared with the $28 trillion estimated cost of Covid-19, he said.
“The world needs to spend billions to save trillions,” he said.
The success of messenger RNA vaccines in combating Covid-19 should pave the way for huge advances over the next five years in the development of new shots, he said. The technology shows potential to one day help overcome diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. The Gates Foundation has invested $1.75 billion in the fight against Covid-19, according to their letter.
One of the significant concerns is the threat of “immunity inequality,” where only rich people have access to vaccines, Melinda Gates wrote.
“Until vaccines reach everyone, new clusters of disease will keep popping up,” she said. “Those clusters will grow and spread. Schools and offices will shut down again. The cycle of inequality will continue.”