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More Good News on Operation Warp Speed


11.16.20

Thanks to scientists, public health officials, and the power of innovation combined with the extraordinary public-private partnership of Operation Warp Speed (OWS), we started this week with more promising news of a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “The [independent data and safety monitoring board] DSMB reported that the [NIH-Moderna COVID-19 vaccine] was safe and well-tolerated and noted a vaccine efficacy rate of 94.5%.” Last week, it was announced that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is over 90% effective.

This is great news and a testament of the efforts of Operation Warp Speed. OWS is not only focused on vaccines, but also therapeutics. For example, distribution for Eli Lilly’s therapeutics across the country to help COVID-19 positive patients who do not require hospitalization was announced recently. This is another tool in in our fight against the Invisible Enemy.

President Donald Trump held a press conference on Operation Warp Speed on Friday and shared the record breaking and historical progress with COVID-19 vaccines.

It’s important to note that safety measures are not being overlooked. As Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR), Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY) – who are conducting oversight of COVID-19 vaccine development – have written, “Operation Warp Speed is moving at an unprecedented pace – without cutting safety corners.”

In fact, it was asked if safety was being sacrificed with this historical speed of vaccine development at an E&C oversight hearing with drug manufacturers working on COVID-19 vaccines earlier this year. The answer: safety is not being compromised. Watch their responses below:

Also, at Friday’s White House press conference, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief advisor of OWS, announced that – pending FDA approval – tens of millions of Americans could be vaccinated for COVID-19 in December.

Thanks to the extensive planning of OWS, distribution logistics are also being worked on in advance. General Gustave F. Perna, chief operating officer, shared that they are ready to begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines “within 24 hours” of the vaccine being deemed safe and effective.

E&C Republicans have conducted thorough oversight of vaccine and therapeutic development though hearings, briefings and letters, as well as published vaccine and therapeutic recommendations as part of the Second Wave Preparedness Project. The work continues, and members of the committee will not waver in supporting the aggressive efforts being made to overcome COVID-19.

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