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Four COVID-19 vaccine trials backed by Operation Warp Speed will likely fail, according to a new report

Published on 03/09/20 at 12:32pm
Photo by U.S. Army Materiel Command

Four late-stage trials of vaccine candidates partly funded by the US Operation Warp Speed are likely to fail, according to a new report from medical experts. 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a draft report saying it expects that “four of the trials will fail”, while three will succeed. 

The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed is expected to support seven late stage clinical vaccine trials that will contain an estimated 30,000 participants each. The organisation also proposed a four-part rollout of the vaccine candidate that does prove most effective and get regulatory approval.

Phase 1 would cover 15% of the population and would provide healthcare workers, the elderly and those with underlying conditions with the vaccine. Phase 2 would include essential workers, teachers, the homeless and people in prisons and jails. Phase 3 would include young adults, children and general workers which would cover 85-95% of the country, and Phase 4 would cover everyone who was not yet vaccinated.

This type of strategy is agreed upon by medical professionals and also US President Trump himself, who said the eldery and most vulnerable should relieve the treatment first. 

The group also said that because Operation Warp Speed is taxpayer funded, it is essential that the eventual vaccine is made widely available for either a low or no cost. 

Operation Warp Speed has been likened to the Manhattan Project, America’s secret development of the atom bomb during the Second World War. It is hoping to accelerate the production of a vaccine to be made widely available across the country by the end of the year.

Conor Kavanagh

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