New Delhi: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said India's willingness to play a "big role" in manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine is critical. According to a media report, he said, "India is a leading vaccine producer; we need cooperation from India on manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine."

"India's willingness to play a big role in manufacturing vaccines, and to send some of these to developing countries will be critical," said Bill Gates.

He added that all want to get a vaccine out in India as fast as we can once we know that it's very effective and very safe, Gates said.

Bill Gates also hopes that the COVID vaccine will be rolled out from India next year. "It's very likely that roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine will take place in fairly big volume (in India) sometime next year," he stated.

"I'm quite optimistic that by the first quarter of next year, several COVID-19 vaccines will be at the final stage," said Gates.