Microsoft founder Bill Gates says the world won’t return to normal until “a lot of people” take a second “super-effective” coronavirus vaccine.

Speaking on NBC, the billionaire said the situation will not be reversed until the world achieves ‘Zero COVID’, which would mean totally eliminating the virus worldwide.

“The only way we’ll 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 eliminated on a global basis,” said Gates.

“That is where we can finally start taking all the problems that have been created — in education, mental health — and start to build back in a positive way,” he claimed.

Gates had last week said that the end of 2021 is a “best case scenario” in the effort to vaccinate significant swathes of the global population, but his latest utterances about a second vaccination has prompted more uncertainty.

“We still don’t know whether these vaccines will succeed,” Gates had explained.

“Now the capacity will take time to ramp up. And so the allocation within the US, and between the US and other countries will be a very top point of contention.”

Asked about the reliability of vaccines from Russia and China, Gates played down the possibility of these being used internationally.

“The Western companies are further ahead on doing these Phase III studies and so if those come out well and they’re offered at low cost, I doubt there’ll be a lot of Russian or Chinese vaccines going outside of those countries,” he said.

The Gates Foundation has contributed billions to date in the search for a vaccine against Covid-19.