Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has received his first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine this week and reports he “feels great”.
In a statement to Twitter, the world’s third-richest man said he was eligible for the vaccine earlier due to his age of 65.
“I got my first dose this week, and I feel great. Thank you to all of the scientists, trial participants, regulators, and frontline healthcare workers who got us to this point,” Gates said, with a picture showing him receiving the shot.
The vaccine advocate lives in Washington state which is currently rolling out the vaccine to those 65 and older, along with first responders and healthcare workers.
Gates was one of the most prominent faces of the fight against COVID-19 in 2020, with the US$122 billion man devoting much of his time to discussing the challenges and opportunities the world had to combat the lethal disease.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed more than US$400 million to the battle against the virus and the search for a vaccine.
Gates has long feared such an outbreak, saying in early 2019 that the threat of a global pandemic kept him awake at night, and carrying out an alarming simulation of a coronavirus outbreak which suggested as many as 65 million could die within 18 months. The current death toll is 2.06 million.
The billionaire was also at the centre of outlandish conspiracy theories, including one which incorrectly claimed Gates was developing the vaccine with a microchip that would be implanted into the vaccine recipients.
However, he’s hopeful for the future, saying he looks forward to working with President Joe Biden to tackle the pandemic.
"This has been a troubling time in America, but I see promise in the months and years ahead," Gates said.