COVID-19 Vaccines

Incredible Progress Being Made on COVID-19 Vaccine Front

2020 has been an extremely difficult year, but there is promising news on the horizon. Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are in the final stages of clinical development and may soon be available.

Pharmaceutical maker Pfizer recently announced that preliminary data from late-stage clinical trials show its COVID-19 vaccine is 95 percent effective. A vaccine developed jointly by the drug company Moderna and the National Institutes of Health has shown in early trials to be more than 94 percent effective. A third company, AstraZeneca, also reported that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90 percent effective. Its breakthrough is a big developmentthat would be less expensive and easier to distribute than others that require cold storage.

The incredible medical advancements we are witnessing will help save lives around the world. These accomplishments are a testament to American ingenuity, resolve and our propensity to meet a challenge head-on. We would not be in this position so quickly without the work of incredibly intelligent researchers, the courageous commitment of trial participants and a historic public-private partnership to get this heavy lift off the ground.

Operation Warp Speed brought all this together. It is hard to say how far along we’d be in the process without the program’s multibillion-dollar investment in research and development. Similarly, moving at this rapid pace would have been impossible without the federal government’s commitment to pre-purchase a future vaccine and streamline regulatory authorization.

While we await the final approval for these vaccines, it is important to know that distribution planning has already been underway. Military planners are working with officials from the Centers for Disease Control to ensure that states have a plan in place to efficiently administer the vaccines on a mass scale, adequate personnel to carry out delivery and the data tracking infrastructure necessary for a successful program. Operation Warp Speed continues to play a key role here as well, procuring the necessary supplies—such as needles and swabs—to ensure smooth distribution.