Bill Gates doesn’t believe any of the coronavirus vaccines in development are likely to seek U.S. approval before the end of October — something that would be bad news for President Donald Trump, who has hinted at a viable vaccine to counter the pandemic before the Nov. 3 election.
“None of the vaccines are likely to seek approval in the U.S. before the end of October,” the billionaire philanthropist told CNBC via video conference last week.
But Gates is more confident about a breakthrough by early next year — and named one drugmaker as being the furthest ahead.
“I do think once you get into, say, December or January, the chances are that at least two or three will (seek approval) — if the effectiveness is there,” the Microsoft co-founder said.
“And so we have these phase three trials that are going on. The only vaccine that if everything went perfectly, might seek the emergency use license by the end of October, would be Pfizer.”
The Gates Foundation, created by Gates and his wife, Melinda, announced in March a collaboration to develop a coronavirus vaccine with several life sciences companies including Pfizer. It also owns stock in Pfizer, as well as Johnson & Johnson, Merck and others and has given multimillion-dollar grants to Pfizer for the development of various vaccines in recent years.