This week in Operation Warp Speed

Below is a compilation of initiatives, actions and accomplishments across Operation Warp Speed’s primary efforts in the past week. To learn more about OWS, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website and Department of Defense website.

Vaccine development:

Video interviews and an article discussing participation in vaccine clinical trials with Operation Warp Speed vaccine development lead Dr. Matt Hepburn are available for download, editing, broadcast and publication. Dr. Hepburn discusses the clinical trials process and the need for volunteers to participate in the trials in locations throughout the country.

Therapeutics development:

Humanigen entered into a cooperative research and development agreement with the government, supporting the company’s development of lenzilumab, focused on preventing and treating an immune hyper-response called cytokine storm. The agreement provides access to a full-scale, integrated team of manufacturing and regulatory subject matter experts and statistical support in anticipation of applying for emergency use authorization as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Manufacturing, distribution and administration:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the executive summaries from the vaccine plans submitted by each jurisdiction, a crucial step in the overall U.S. government effort to develop, distribute, and administer COVID-19 vaccines. The summaries provide an overview of each location’s thought process and planning for different COVID-19 vaccine availability scenarios. Additionally, CDC and OWS are prioritizing efforts with jurisdictions to increase provider recruitment and enrollment, which is the cornerstone of all three phases of vaccine rollout. Another it focus area is ensuring jurisdictions have the end-to-end technical means and proper data formats to transmit accurate vaccine uptake information once vaccine administrations begin.

Operation Warp Speed highlights the military experts who are partnering with regional coordinators at cdc headquarters in Atlanta and their efforts to provide decision support for vaccine prioritization and delivery plans across the country. From high-tech tools to contingency planning, the team is working to ease the burden of public health officials.


In a continued display of transparency, additional contracts were added to the Operation Warp Speed electronic reading room.

Key engagements/outreach:

Operation Warp Speed chief science advisor Dr. Moncef Slaoui and chief operating officer Gen. Gus Perna visited CVS headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, this week to discuss and solidify the company’s important role in vaccine administration.

The COVID-19 prevention network launched eight educational videos for clinical research sites that will also air on its youtube and social media channels. The videos range from short public service announcements addressing the need for clinical trials participants, to in-depth panel discussions about health inequities in Black communities. These videos will be available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, with and without subtitles.

Icymi: Secretary Azar wrote that Operation Warp Speed is a unique made-in-America story: with OWS’s historic public-private partnerships between the government, military, and private sector, American industry is delivering again.

Senior leader quotes:

“The country’s existing public health infrastructure is well tested — we see evidence every fall when Americans receive the flu vaccine in large numbers. But these are not normal times. Leveraging our military planning and logistics capability and combining that with proven methods will allow existing systems to scale quickly to get COVID-19 vaccines to the American people.” — Gen. Gus Perna, Operation Warp Speed chief operating officer

Operation Warp Speed is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, engaging with private firms and other federal agencies, and coordinating among existing HHS-wide efforts to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.