Billionaire Bill Gates has predicted three of the top six coronavirus vaccines currently under development should work by early next year.
The Microsoft founder believes most of the world will want a vaccine from a western country, where well-respected regulators exist.
But he warned that poorer countries may turn to ‘unproven’ vaccines, such as Russia’s or China’s, if they cannot get their hands on one from the US, UK or Europe.
Mr Gates urged countries to work together on a ‘global vaccine’, which is created by one company and manufactured by other firms around the world.
He told Times Of India : “By early next year of the leading six vaccines probably three of them will work.
“I would expect some of them will work very well. I think most of the world will want a vaccine that has been reviewed by a top notch regulator, which generally (is) US FDA or Europe or UK so ideally they would be involved.
“If we can get these western vaccines through partnerships, particularly with India, into high volume if we can get the money to procure them for even the poorest countries I think the western vaccines will be used overwhelmingly.”
However, Mr Gates warned countries may use ‘unproven’ vaccines, such as Russia’s, if there are delays in the western vaccines – or if they are not donated.
A leading scientist previously warned a vaccine will not be ready in time for a potential second wave.
Sir John Bell, 68, who is Oxford University’s regius professor of medicine, said the majority of vaccines take around eight years to develop, while research into Covid-19 has only been going on for eight months.
A vaccine trial being jointly developed by Oxford and drugmaker Astra Zeneca is considered the best hope at creating a shot that could boost immunity to Covid-19.
Sir John says that the vaccine will be ready by early next year, but added: “We’re not going to beat the second wave now.”
He told the Daily Telegraph: “We’re probably right at the front end of the second wave now, but a vaccine might arrive towards the end of the second wave.”