Gates is in , look out Assies....
Bill Gates ramps up Australian vaccine efforts
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $10 million to support a Murdoch Children’s Research Institute trial which is testing a COVID-19 vaccine on healthcare workers.
The announcement adds to a growing portfolio of vaccine interests held by Bill Gates in Australia, and follows new details of discussions between Morrison and the billionaire.
GATES FUNDING TRIAL
Bill Gates has donated $10 million to an Australian trial of a vaccine that researchers hope “will prevent severe cases of COVID-19 in at-risk groups, such as healthcare workers and the elderly”.
The billionaire Microsoft founder’s funding, the largest single donation to Australia’s COVID-19 research effort so far, comes after weeks of discussions between the Melbourne-based lead researcher, Professor Nigel Curtis and Gates’ scientific advisers.
Nigel Curtis is the lead researcher at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and he told ABC Radio the vaccine was already being trialled on healthcare workers in Australia. He hopes the funding will help expand the capacity of the program into new hospitals.
The trial is designed to test immune-boosting vaccines typically used against tuberculosis called BCG, with the aim of testing the vaccine’s effect on 10,000 healthcare workers worldwide.
To assess the interaction between the BCG vaccine and COVID-19, the trial relies on healthcare workers who have received the vaccine coming into contact with coronavirus casesThe study started on March 27 at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and has so far recruited 2500 healthcare workers across Australia.
The $10 million donation will also allow the trial to expand to Monash and Epworth hospitals in Melbourne and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, plus sites in Perth and AdelaideProfessor Curtis said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made contact with his group about a month ago, and following discussions over a week period, agreed on the new collaboration.
“We see it being used especially if there’s a second wave of COVID-19 in Australia or overseas,” said Professor Curtis, who is also a clinician and researcher at The University of Melbourne.
As the COVID-19 narrative continues to unfold, Australia’s role in the larger picture is being revealed.