Trump Administration Plans ‘Operation Warp Speed’ to Fast-Track Vaccine
April 30, 2020 | by James G. Dalton
The Trump administration is quietly planning a major undertaking to speed the development of a coronavirus vaccine, with a goal to have 100 million doses ready by year’s end, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Called “Operation Warp Speed,” the project will join private pharmaceutical companies with government agencies and the military in trying to cut the development time for a vaccine by as much as eight months, Bloomberg News said.
It said a White House meeting on the project was scheduled for Wednesday.
Last month, President Donald Trump directed Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to speed development of a vaccine, and administration officials have been meeting on the effort for three to four weeks, the report added.
Executives and other experts have suggested that clinical trials to guarantee a vaccine is safe and effective could take a minimum of 12 to 18 months.
HHS did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
On Tuesday, Pfizer CEO Alberta Bourla told The Wall Street Journal the company’s COVID-19 vaccine could be ready for emergency distribution by this fall, and Oxford University’s Jenner Institute is preparing for mass clinical trials after tests showed their vaccine to be effective in rhesus macaque monkeys.
Johnson & Johnson earlier this month said it expected to start human testing of a coronavirus candidate as soon as September.
Research into a coronavirus vaccine has developed quickly because of rapid discoveries about the virus and vaccine-making technology, according to Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta, told the Journal.
Newsmax’s Solange Reyner contributed to this report.