Gates warns of more pandemics and asks for government funding to prepare more vaccines

Bill Gates has told the media to prepare for more pandemics far worse than COVID-19, describing the Delta and Omicron variants as, "some of the most transmissive viruses ever seen, the world could have had to face a pathogen causing a far higher rate of fatalities or severe disease".

Gates went on to call the world "strange", stating it was not up to governments of wealthy nations and philanthropists to address vaccine inequity.

“When we talk about spending billions to save... trillions of economic damage and tens of billions of lives, it’s a pretty good insurance policy,” Gates said.

Gates acknowledged both the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the US government for their "brave" investment into a vaccine portfolio but stated more needed to be done to increase vaccines supplies worldwide.

CEPI is in the process of raising $3.5 billion in an effort to cut the time it takes to create new vaccines.

Along with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK’s Wellcome Trust are donating $300m to CEPI, which helped form the Covax programme delivering vaccines to lower income countries.

He added that much of the innovation to prepare for a future pandemic could also be useful in tackling existing global health problems, such as by creating a vaccine for HIV and better shots for tuberculosis and malaria.