According to a senior official in the Trump administration, the White House coronavirus task force is rolling out a plan designed to accelerate the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The plan, called “Operation Warp Speed”, seeks to have 300 million ready and available doses of the vaccine, which has yet to be developed and tested.
Those familiar with the plan reported that Operation Warp Speed will be a coordinated initiative between pharmaceutical companies, the US government and the US military. The goal is to cut the development time for a COVID-19 vaccine by as much as eight months. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert and Trump’s top medical adviser during the pandemic, previously estimated a 12 to 18 month waiting period before available vaccines.
According to the World Health Organization, there are about 70 prospective coronavirus vaccines in development around the globe from various drugmakers and researchers.
Operation Warp Speed is projected to cost billions of dollars. Sources familiar with Operation Warp Speed reported that the plan will rely on American taxpayer money for funding.
On Wednesday, US pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that a German company, partnered with Pfizer, had begun human trials with a COVID-19 vaccine. If successful the vaccine could be supplied to millions within the year.