When asked what sort of advancement would help end the coronavirus pandemic, ultra-wealthy Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates noted that people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can still catch the illness, and that vaccines seem to be limited in their longevity.
Long-lasting vaccines that protect people from getting re-infected are needed, Gates tweeted during an exchange with Devi Sridhar, professor and chair of global public health at Edinburgh University Medical School.
“The vaccines we have prevent severe disease and death very well but they are missing two key things. First they still allow infections (“breakthrough”) and the duration appears to be limited. We need vaccines that prevent re-infection and have many years of duration,” Gates tweeted.
Many people who have been fully vaccinated and boosted have still tested positive for COVID-19.
Gates suggested that people may need annual COVID-19 vaccine jabs.
“Once Omicron goes through a country then the rest of the year should see far fewer cases so Covid can be treated more like seasonal flu,” he tweeted.
“A more transmissive variant is not likely but we have been surprised a lot during this pandemic. Omicron will create a lot of immunity at least for the next year,” Gates wrote. “We may have to take yearly shots for Covid for some time.”
Gates is a billionaire with a net worth of more than $135 billion, according to Forbes.