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Devastating is one word that can be used to describe 2020, the year that will be etched in our minds forever. No one on the face of the earth will be able to forget how disastrous 2020 has been. The pandemic wreaked havoc, infecting 73 million people and killing 1.6 million people across the world. Apart from the irreparable loss of human life, the pandemic also left back drastic economic losses. Adding to all of it were the killings of Geroge Floyd and Breonna Taylor – which caused a whole new level of uproar amongst the masses. To top it all, we had the most dramatic presidential elections, which further contributed to upheaval in the country.

If you’re stepping into 2021 with bated breaths, wondering what’s in store in this new year, here’s some reason to cheer! Bill Gates, the billionaire and philanthropist said that “there is good news coming in 2021”. He mentions the impressive scientific advances made in not only developing but also distributing vaccines against Covid-19. Generally, developing a vaccine takes up to ten years, but this time around, scientists have managed to create not one, but multiple vaccines in the time span of less than a year. This, he says, is just one among the multiple scientific developments which should make people a lot more hopeful about 2021.

The vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna will bring life much closer to normal than it is now. But the challenge of whether enough vaccines will be manufactured for the entire world still stays. For full efficacy, two doses of the vaccine are recommended, which means five to ten billion doses would be required. Will these pharma giants be able to step up the manufacturing scale? Gates says, pharma companies typically produce a total of 6 billion doses annually – for flu shots and other immunizations.

Just so that these companies should be able to manufacture the Covid-10 shots without impacting the production of other routine shots, Gates and his foundation have stepped up. They are helping pharma giants in wealthy countries with high-volume producers in developing countries, with the help of ‘second source agreements’. The agreement will help make most of the skill sets of both parties – while the producers will create safe and affordable vaccines in bulk quantities, the vaccine companies will supply viable candidates for the same.

Having said this, he also dismissed false conspiracy theories laid down against him and his wife, Melinda Gates. Labeling the false claims ‘baseless’, he said they were committed to saving lives and making sure children have a chance to grow into adulthood. He added that they feel a responsibility to give back their wealth to society and that nothing would stop him or his wife from publicly discussing funding of the vaccines.

If you too have faced discomfort during the brain-tickling Covid test, which is based on the nasopharyngeal swab, here’s another good news- this test could soon be a thing of the past. The FDA has approved the first at-home test kit that uses nasal swabs – you wouldn’t have to go far back into your nose for the swab. Gates says that this is a much better and efficient way of testing, which allows people to test themselves, while yielding just as accurate results as the brain-invasive, tickling one.

Wrapping up, Gates also said that he is very hopeful of the Biden administration, as they will be a little more focused on climate change. He says that the US is poised to resume a leading role to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions next year.

Bill Gates sees promise in the next twelve months – not an enormous one, but it will definitely be a noticeable, measurable step forward for the world. Let’s hope for the best now!

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