Members of the White House’s coronavirus task force are working at breakneck speed to develop a vaccine by fall.
The project, Operation Warp Speed, will focus on finding solutions to quickly ramp up production of a vaccine, organize distribution and determine who gets the first doses.
The government will also begin this week shipping tens of thousands of courses of remdesivir, which according to experimental trials, showed the drug shortened the duration of illness in patients with severe COVID-19. Physicians also say the fast-moving pandemic has compelled them to work with haste, all without compromising the scientific rigor necessary to prove whether the drug actually works.
So far, the drug has been issued an Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S. for those hospitalized with severe disease.
Gilead Sciences, makers of remdesivir, hope to produce 1 million treatment courses by the end of the year.