Statements made by Bill Gates have been misquoted. He did not state that the COVID-19 vaccines were ineffective.
On November 5, 2021, Policy Exchange, a British think tank, interviewed Bill Gates. When Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt asked Gates about preparedness for the next pandemic, he said, "I would expect that will lead the (research and development) budgets to be focused on things we didn't have today." Social media users misinterpreted it and claimed the billionaire admitted that COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective. Gates also said, "We didn't have vaccines that block transmission. We got vaccines that help you with your health, but they only slightly reduce the transmission. So, we need a new way of doing the vaccines." The statement refers to how vaccines reduce COVID-19 infection rates; they cannot cure the condition. Consequently, he wants to direct financing towards initiatives that will improve vaccines, therapies, and diagnostic tests, all of which will be required to prevent the next pandemic more successfully. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines effectively prevent symptomatic COVID-19 in health care employees, particularly those at risk for severe COVID-19 and those who are at risk from racial and ethnic groups disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. However, current COVID-19 vaccines do not stop the transmission of the virus, but they are highly effective at preventing severe disease. According to an analysis by Public Health England, the COVID-19 immunization program has directly prevented an estimated 24.1 million infections, over 261,500 hospitalizations, and 127,500 fatalities in England. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.