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Bill Gates Says AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax COVID-19 Vaccines All Likely To Prove 'Very Efficacious And Safe' By February

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates expressed optimism on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines made by various drugmakers in an interview with CNN on Sunday.

What Happened: The billionaire told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that while vaccines from Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) and Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) have already shown effectiveness against COVID-19 in early data, he expects similar results from AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE: AZN), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Novavax, Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX) vaccines.

“I'm optimistic that by February, it's very likely they'll all prove very efficacious and safe,” said Gates.

The tech billionaire expects the vaccine to “start to cut the numbers down” in spring.

Why It Matters: Pfizer’s vaccine is 95% effective in preventing COVID-19, while Moderna Inc said its vaccine has the same efficacy

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) filed for emergency use authorization on Friday.

The vaccine made by the duo could reportedly be available for the high-risk populations in the United States by the middle or end of December.

Moderna is also expected to file for EUA soon and has released its interim Phase 3 results. 

AstraZeneca’s vaccine was found to trigger similar immune responses in both young and elderly patients, as per findings of a phase two trial.

Older adults and people with pre-existing conditions are at the greatest risk of developing serious symptoms of COVID-19, according to the co-author of the phase two study, Dr. Maheshi Ramasamy.

Gates' foundation has backed the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 and said its entire focus was on fighting the pandemic.

Price Action: On Friday, Pfizer shares closed 1.41% higher at $36.70, Moderna Shares closed 5.22% higher at $97.61, AstraZeneca shares closed 2.35% higher at $55.30, Novavax shares closed 0.17% higher at $86.55, and Johnson & Johnson shares closed 0.53% lower at $146.36. 

Photo courtesy: UK Department for International Development via Flickr

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