Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles’ heel: countries need billions to distribute vaccines – and many say they have no cash.
Why it matters: The first emergency authorization may come as early as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and processing, as well as reservations for vaccination sites.
- Warp Speed is the $ 10 billion initiative to speed up the COVID-19 vaccine schedule. Early predictions suggest that it will take years to develop and distribute a vaccine, but it increasingly appears that it will be approved for use this year.
The big picture: CDC Director Robert Redfield estimates this price at $ 6 billion.
- So far, the states have received $ 200 million, with another $ 1
- “It’s like putting up tent poles without a tent, “Maine CDC director Nirav Shah told reporters.
Between the lines: The CDC wants a candidate for the Pfizer vaccine. The company set a schedule earlier this month, which said it could apply for an emergency use permit by the end of February.
How it works: Pfizer has a facility in Michigan where vaccine vials will be packaged in dry ice pods, NPR reported.
- These pods will be loaded into boxes that can withstand these extreme temperatures for up to 10 days. And they will be moved around the country by cargo planes and trucks from carriers like UPS and FedEx.
Bottom row: “As far as trying to reach all populations with an effective vaccine is concerned, it will be a real challenge,” said Mississippi State Health Director Thomas Dobbs.