Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said the Covid-19 Omicron variant had outpaced world vaccine drives in spreading immunity, urging health officials around the globe to respond more quickly to the next pandemic.
Asked about the world’s progress in “beating Covid-19” during a panel at the 2022 Munich Security Conference on Friday, the tech magnate and philanthropist credited the coronavirus itself for immunizing populations naturally in some regions.
“Sadly, the virus itself – particularly the variant called Omicron – is a type of vaccine. That is, it creates both B-cell and T-cell immunity, and it’s done a better job of getting out to the world population than we have with vaccines,” he said.
Due to a large amount of “infection exposure” in certain regions, the risk of serious illness from Covid-19 has been “dramatically reduced,” Gates continued, also noting that severe symptoms are “mainly associated with being elderly and having obesity or diabetes.”