So far, only $ 3.6 billion has been raised to fund research, vaccine production, and aid to poor countries. AstraZeneca, one of three companies that have committed to supplying vaccines under the initiative, reported promising results this week. On the other hand, securing the billions of necessary doses quickly and cheaply could prove difficult as the United States and other wealthy countries have signed separate agreements to reserve vaccines for their own citizens.
Over the past few months, Mr Gates, stressing that he is only one of the protagonists of this fight, has organized virtual round tables with executives from pharmaceutical companies. He turned to the heads of state for funding commitments: In one week he met with his wife Melinda Gates, Co-President of the Foundation, the French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed ben Zayed.
In Washington he held regular discussions with Dr. Anthony Fauci, a renowned immunologist and long-time collaborator on vaccination campaigns. He spoke to U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, a polio survivor who supports programs to eradicate polio and other infectious diseases. To attract employees to this vaccination campaign, his millions of dollars foundation used the services of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
Some will say why him? Comments Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez, former director of knowledge management at WHO. “He has the aura. He has the means. He is worried. There are a lot of people involved, but not on the Gates scale. “
If this initiative, fueled by Mr. Gates’ assets and interests, helps protect the poorest from a virus that has already killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide, it will validate their strategic choices regarding Philanthropy, such as direct grants to pharmaceutical companies.
However, if the initiative fails, calls for a more radical approach could intensify.
With the pandemic, some activists and public health officials argue that vaccine manufacturers, many of whom have received financial support Unprecedented should be forced to share their insights, data and expertise in order to maximize production. India and South Africa, for example, are campaigning for the intellectual property rights to the virus to be suspended.