Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is a public–private partnership, initiated by the U.S. government to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. The first news report of Operation Warp Speed was on April 29, 2020, and the program was officially announced on May 15, 2020.
The program promotes mass production of multiple vaccines, and different types of vaccine technologies, based on preliminary evidence, allowing for faster distribution if clinical trials confirm one of the vaccines is safe and effective. The plan anticipates that some of these vaccines will not prove safe or effective, making the program more costly than typical vaccine development, but potentially leading to the availability of a viable vaccine several months earlier than typical timelines.
Operation Warp Speed – initially funded with about $10 billion from the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) passed by the United States Congress on March 27 – is an interagency program that includes components of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); the Department of Defense; private firms; and other federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.