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Gates: COVID-19 cluster outbreaks will continue if vaccines don't reach everyone

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released its annual statement, warning that until vaccines reach everyone, new clusters of the virus will keep breaking out.

FILE: Bill Gates. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said key steps in the global vaccine rollout involved securing more approval and scaling up production.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released its annual statement on Wednesday, warning that until vaccines reach everyone, new clusters of the virus will keep breaking out.

Gates once again assured the world that his foundation was at the forefront of helping developing countries get access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Gates hopes vaccine production, particularly in India, can be expanded over the next few months.

"The first two vaccines that were approved are fairly costly to make and very hard to scale up. Now, there are very good vaccines - Pfizer and Moderna. But it's the next three, including AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, that will give us the highest volumes," he said adding that there was a specific focus on the developing world.

"In Africa, of course, the epidemic itself, in a direct sense has been worst in South Africa. The rest of Africa, with a few exceptions, it hasn't been super bad but of course, the economic effects are there and any life that's lost is terrible."

Gates said it would be a shame if the virus maintained its devastating hold on countries as a result of baseless views from anti-vaxxers' views and conspiracy theorists.

Gates himself was vaccinated with the Moderna jab last week.

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