I-Lin Lin

Redesigning Vaccine Development Process from a PPP Perspective: Operation Warp Speed

Announced on May 15, 2020, Operation Warp Speed (OWS) was a major public-private partnership (PPP) that effectively shepherded the development of two safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in less than a year. The initiative sought to coordinate an array of government bodies to support private companies in producing COVID-19 medical countermeasures, meaning therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines, which were crucial for mitigating the public health and economic distress caused by the virus (Slaoui & Hepburn, 2020). To meet the unique and pressing circumstances, OWS leveraged both public and private capacity to follow traditional vaccine development processes on an accelerated timeline and with a diverse stakeholder group. The initiative met many challenges, including issues with intellectual property rights and the rule of law. It is salient to understand OWS’s operational framework and how future projects can mirror its success and learn from its challenges. This paper seeks to clarify the roles of the public and private sectors in shaping the initiative, examine the effective strategies adopted, and describe the challenges.