Microsoft founder Bill Gates said on Saturday that Covid-19 drugs and future vaccines should be distributed to those who need them most and not to "the highest bidder".
"If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidder, rather than the people and places where they are most needed, we will have a longer, more unfair, more deadly pandemic," said Gates, a billionaire philanthropist, during one distant Covid-19 conference hosted by the International AIDS Society.
"We need leaders who can make these difficult decisions about equity-based distribution, not just market-driven factors," he added.
As countries and companies struggle to launch a vaccine, concerns have increased that wealthier nations get more medication than developing countries. Future coronavirus vaccines have been requested to be treated as public goods for all without profit.
The World Health Organization said that there are currently 21 vaccine candidates in clinical trials being tested on volunteers, three of whom are in the third phase of these trials.
The US biotech company Moderna, the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech have made the greatest progress in the development of vaccine candidates for the coronavirus. Moderna, who works with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, recently announced that the late vaccine trial may be delayed by a few weeks.
A potential vaccine developed by drug giant Pfizer and biotech company BioNTech has triggered immune responses in healthy patients, but has also caused fever and other side effects.
Gates said an important lesson from the fight against HIV / AIDS two decades ago was the importance of creating a fair global distribution system to make drugs available to everyone. He said the AIDS crisis was a model for equality and wider availability of Covid-19 drugs, and cited the 2002 Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as an example.
"Global collaboration, the decision to invent the tools and use them where they are most needed is critical," said Gates. "When these things, nations, institutions and lawyers work together on this collective response, we see a remarkable impact."