Microsoft founder Bill Gates estimates that life may not return to normal until 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite a vaccine currently being produced.

Bill Gates, COVID-19Alex Wong / Getty Images

Gates told CNN's Jake Tapper that people need to understand that the news of a vaccine does not mean the immediate end of the pandemic.

“I thought the U.S. would do a better job handling it,” Gates explained. “This virus could be more fatal than it is. We didn’t get the worst-case. But the thing that has surprised me is that the economic impact in the U.S. and around the world has been much greater than the forecasts that I made five years ago.”

“Even through early 2022, unless we help other countries get rid of this disease and we get high vaccination rates in our country, the risk of reintroduction will be there,” he said. “And, of course, the global economy will be slowed down, which hurts America’s economy in a pretty dramatic way. “

While the coronavirus vaccine is on the way, it's been announced that health care workers and at-risk citizens will be the first to receive it, in addition to White House officials.

Johns Hopkins University reports that nearly 300,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus.