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"One of the reasons we are so involved in this is that you don't want the first vaccines to go to the highest-bidding countries," Melinda Gates said. "There are 60 million healthcare workers [around the world]. They deserve to get the vaccine first, they're the ones dealing with this on the front lines, trying to keep us all safe."
"Then you have to start to tier from there, based on the countries and the populations," Melinda Gates continued. "Here in the United States, it's going to be black people who really should get it first and many indigenous people, as well as people with underlying symptoms, and then elderly people."
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which the foundation says will work to purchase and distribute vaccine doses to low-income countries.
Bill Gates said at the Forbes summit that he's most encouraged by three vaccine candidates made by Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Gates believes it is possible to scale up to 10 billion doses of a successful vaccine in two years in order to achieve herd immunity, he said at the summit.
He also accused the U.S. of turning "inward" instead of embracing collaboration with other countries to find solutions to the pandemic.
"Usually the United States plays a role in global problem-solving, so rather than withdrawing from WHO, they'd be involved, collaborating with other countries, not just trying to cast blame," Gates said.
For example, President Trump said in April that he would halt U.S. funding to the World Health Organization over “mistakes” he said helped the coronavirus spread.