Gates sees Covid deaths drop to flu levels by mid-2022

Bill Gates, co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks virtually during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, on Thursday. (Bloomberg photo)

Covid-19 deaths and infection rates may dip below seasonal flu levels by the middle of next year assuming new dangerous variants don’t emerge in the meantime, Bill Gates said.

Between natural and vaccine immunity and emerging oral treatments, "the death rate and the disease rate ought to be coming down pretty dramatically," the billionaire founder of Microsoft Corp said Thursday at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.

The constraints on vaccinating the world against Covid-19 will shift next year, Mr Gates said, as supply issues are resolved and replaced by questions of how to logistically distribute them all.

"The vaccines are very good news, and the supply constraints will be largely solved as we get out in the middle of next year, and so we’ll be limited by the logistics and the demand," Mr Gates said in a virtual interview with Bloomberg news editor-in-chief John Micklethwait.

Mr Gates, now co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, says it’s not clear in a lot of countries what the demand level will be, especially in places like sub-Saharan Africa. 

He added the world ought to work to eradicate the flu as well in order to reduce threats from future pandemics.


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