(Image Credit – Barksdale Air Force Base)
President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed identified fourteen new possible vaccines. The news comes at a time when the country desperately waits for good news.
Operation Warp Speed is a project initiated by the White House to bring together the resources of the military, pharma sector, and government researchers to significantly cut down the time needed to mass-produce a vaccine for COVID-19.
Trump reportedly promised the project a ‘blank check’, thereby putting no financial constraint on the operation. As the United States has become the centre of the coronavirus pandemic within the past month, the need for a vaccine is crucial. Thus, the blank check handed by Trump is understandable.
Vaccines Take Years to Make. Trump wants One in Months
Dr Anthony Fauci has been sceptical about the aggressive timeline President Trump has set for the vaccine to be produced. Trump wants 100M vaccines mass-produced by November, 200M by December, and 300M by January. In effect, Trump wants the entire country vaccinated by January 2021.
Vaccines typically take years to make. Before any form of human testing, they are first tested on animals. Then, testing enters a three-step phase. The first step involves testing the vaccine amongst a small sample size of people and assess their immunity against the virus.
Steps two and three increase the sample size of people tested, first to a few hundred and then to tens of thousands. The timeline for this three-step process is extremely difficult to squeeze into a few months.
Vaccines are an improbable goal, but they are the finest defence to a pandemic. The sooner a vaccine is available, the faster the entire country can return back to normal. This is the reason Trump is hoping the investment of time and resources into Operation Warp Speed would pay off.