What is Operation Warp Speed?
Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is the United States government’s accelerated plan to develop, manufacture, and distribute Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. This initiative is the result of an extraordinary public-private partnership among the government and leading global biopharmaceutical companies, the philanthropic and private sectors, the defense industry, and a wide array of public and private healthcare systems. Through OWS, the federal government is leveraging an unprecedented level of resources and expertise to rapidly develop, manufacture and distribute safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines and therapies.
Background of Operation Warp Speed
In response to the global Coronavirus pandemic, the United States government began to develop a plan to accelerate the development, production, and distribution of vaccinations, treatments, and diagnostics. President Trump established Operation Warp Speed (OWS) in May 2020 in order to meet this goal. The operation was created to facilitate the collaboration of private industry, medical professionals, and the United States government to expedite the availability of safe and effective Covid-19 treatments and vaccines for the American people.
Operation Warp Speed Goals
OWS immediately set three goals that it hopes to accomplish.
Goal #1: Develop a safe and effective vaccine.
The first goal of OWS is to develop a safe and effective vaccine to protect people in the United States from Covid-19 infection. The operation seeks to develop multiple vaccines and therapies simultaneously, with the goal of having at least one safe, effective vaccine available by the end of 2020.
Goal #2: Increase production and distribution of the vaccine.
The second goal of OWS is to increase the production and distribution of the vaccine. Through collaboration with private industry, the United States government has committed to speeding up the process of developing and producing multiple vaccine doses, as well as providing adequate supplies of vaccines and other medical resources.
Goal #3: Support vaccine uptake and distribution.
Lastly, OWS is committed to supporting measures to ensure that the Covid-19 vaccine and other treatments are distributed efficiently and equitably. This includes making sure that all Americans, regardless of their location or economic status, have equal access to the vaccine.
To accomplish the goals of OWS, the program includes the following components:
Vaccine Development: This component focuses on the rapid development and manufacturing of safe and effective vaccines. OWS is working with major biopharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer and Moderna, to rapidly develop and produce multiple vaccines. The goal is to have at least one safe, effective vaccine available by the end of 2020.
Diagnostics: This component focuses on the development and distribution of diagnostic tests and treatments for Covid-19. The goal is to develop and deploy rapid, efficient, and accurate diagnostic tests and treatments to reduce the spread of the virus and protect lives.
Production and Supply Chain: This component focuses on expanding manufacturing capacity, securing supplies, and accelerating the distribution of treatments and vaccines. OWS is working with private industry, the military, and other government agencies to ensure the necessary resources are available to support the development and distribution of the vaccines.
Financing: This component focuses on securing funding for the development and distribution of treatments and vaccines. OWS is working with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure the necessary funding is available to support the operations of OWS.
Federal Agencies and Private Companies involved in OWS
In order for OWS to succeed, the United States government is working with numerous federal agencies and private companies, such as:
• Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): The HHS is responsible for the policy direction and oversight of OWS, and is providing the funding for the initiative.
• National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH is working to rapidly develop safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.
• Department of Defense (DoD): The DoD is providing logistics and supply chain support for OWS.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC is providing critical public health guidance and oversight for the OWS initiative.
• Pfizer: Pfizer is one of the major biopharmaceutical companies developing and manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.
• Moderna: Moderna is another major biopharmaceutical company developing and manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.
• Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance: Gavi is a global vaccine alliance working to ensure equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
• Microsoft: Microsoft is collaborating with OWS to develop a technology-based platform to both help facilitate end-to-end vaccine distribution and to create transparency across the supply chain.
In order to speed up the development of vaccines and treatments, the United States government is offering incentives to the companies involved in the effort.
Financial Incentives: The HHS is providing incentive payments to manufacturers who are developing safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.
Liability Protections: The HHS is providing liability protections to manufacturers in order to encourage them to continue to develop and manufacture Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.
Regulatory Flexibility: The government is providing regulatory flexibility to help accelerate the development and distribution of vaccinations, treatments, and diagnostics without compromising safety and efficacy.
Investment Guarantees: The government is investing in the infrastructure and resources needed to accelerate the development and production of vaccines and treatments.
Operation Warp Speed is the United States government’s effort to accelerate the development and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. OWS is the result of an unprecedented public-private partnership between the government and leading global biopharmaceutical companies, defense industry, and a wide array of public and private healthcare systems. Through OWS, the federal government is leveraging an unprecedented level of resources and expertise to rapidly develop and distribute safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines and other treatments. So far, the operation’s goals include developing a safe and effective vaccine, increasing production and distribution, and encouraging vaccine acceptance and distribution. In order to accomplish these goals, OWS is working with numerous federal agencies and private companies and offering various financial and liability incentives.