COVID-19 deaths could drop to seasonal flu levels by 2022, says Bill Gates – Community News
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COVID-19 deaths could drop to seasonal flu levels by 2022, says Bill Gates

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, said at a conference in Singapore on Thursday that he believes the number of cases and those who die from COVID-19 will drop “quite dramatically” as more people are vaccinated and new treatments become available.

A health worker prepares a dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Rio de Janeiro’s city hall. Photo: Andre Borges/dpa (Photo by Andre Borges/Photo Alliance via Getty Images)

Interviewed at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, the billionaire said both deaths and infections could reach seasonal flu levels by mid-2022 unless there is a new strain, Bloomberg said.

Gates pointed to several reasons why he believes the number of transmissions and deaths will drop. He said more and more people will develop natural immunity, more vaccines will be distributed and new antiviral pills will become available.

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Bill Gates speaks at the Global Investment Summit at the Science Museum on October 19, 2021 in London. (Photo by Leon Neal – WPA Pool /Getty Images)

Pfizer recently announced that its experimental antiviral pill is reducing hospitalizations and death by nearly 90%. Pfizer said it would license the antiviral pill to the Medicines Patent Pool in Geneva, allowing generic drug manufacturers to manufacture the pill for use in 95 countries, accounting for about 53% of the world’s population.

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Health officials said the fact that the deal closed even before Pfizer’s pill was approved anywhere could help end the pandemic more quickly.

“The vaccines are very good news and the supply constraints will be largely resolved when we get out by the middle of next year, so we will be constrained by logistics and demand,” Gates said, according to the outlet.

The World Health Organization estimates that between 290,000 and 650,000 people die from the flu each year. More than five million people have died from the virus since the outbreak began in late 2019.

The Associated Press contributed to this report