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Bill Gates says coronavirus vaccine could be distributed by the end of the year

Gates is behind a global push to establish a vaccine for the coronavirus, which he said could be distributed by the end of the year.

SEATTLE — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates shared messages of hope and realism about the coronavirus and a possible vaccine during an interview on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning. 

Gates is behind a global push to both find and distribute a vaccine for the virus. 

“There are lots of additional deaths coming if we don’t get our act together,” Gates said during an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd.

Gates took aim at President Donald Trump who declared himself "immune" to the coronavirus on Twitter early Sunday morning. 

Trump and several of his White House staff tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, 

“The word 'cure' is inappropriate because it won’t work for everyone,” Gates said.

Trump credits his recovery from the coronavirus partly on an experimental drug cocktail that included the use of monoclonal antibodies. Gates is funding research for this treatment and does say looks promising.

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“For the next six months, if the monoclonal antibodies get approved, they will save more lives than the vaccine will," Gates said.

Gates also announced progress on a vaccine that could potentially be distributed by the end of the year.

The news is great but until that arrives, doctors are dealing with the reality: they're bracing for a cold and flu season that could increase the spread of the virus.

“What is right around the corner for us is really preparing for the next wave. I think we’re all hoping that a vaccine is right around the corner but that’s not going to be available for several months,” said Dr. Amy Markezich of Overlake Medical Center.

Markezich said plans are underway for her hospital to distribute a vaccine for COVID-19, though there is no firm date on when one will arrive.

Meanwhile, the virus continues to spread.

“This is not a time to be taking COVID lightly. It's not a time to be declaring victory. This is something that we are in the depth of fighting and we can’t get complacent,” Markezich said.

While a new treatment and vaccine may look promising, it’s clear the fight is not over.

“The only way that we will get completely back to normal is by having, maybe not the first generation of vaccines, but eventually a vaccine that is super effective and that a lot of the people take and that we get the disease illuminated on a global basis,” Gates said.

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