Coronavirus: Operation Warp Speed

Using the resources of the federal government and the U.S. private sector, Operation Warp Speed (OWS) will accelerate the testing, supply, development, and distribution of safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to counter COVID-19 by January 2021.


OWS is an unprecedented leap toward a historic breakthrough that will save countless lives.

OWS is leveraging the best, most talented experts from across the federal government and private industry to develop safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics quickly without compromising safety.

Developing a Vaccine


Vaccine Distribution Process

OWS will ensure that all medical countermeasures and protocols meet the FDA’s gold standard of approval.

OWS will swiftly deliver solutions through rapid investment in the most promising medical countermeasures.


On May 15, 2020, the White House announced Operation Warp Speed to accelerate development, production, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021.

OWS is co-chaired by Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, with Dr. Moncef Slaoui designated as chief advisor and Gen. Gustave F. Perna confirmed to serve as chief operating officer.

Contributing stakeholders: Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

OWS has five focus areas: Development and testing of vaccines; development and testing of therapeutics; development and testing of diagnostics; supply production and distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics; security and assurance of vaccine, diagnostic and therapeutic development, testing, supply, production and distribution.

Soldiers and airmen wearing protective equipment load boxes into a vehicle. - Soldiers and airmen from the Connecticut National Guard load boxes of face masks into a vehicle at West Hartford Public Works, West Hartford, Conn., Sept. 30, 2020. The Connecticut National Guard is helping the state Department of Education and the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security distribute 600,000 masks to school districts throughout the state.

A sailor does maintenance on a computer. - Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Dean Caniban conducts maintenance on a computer in the automated data processing help desk center of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, Oct. 9, 2020.




DOD is collaborating closely with public and private sector partners to provide an unprecedented response to the coronavirus outbreak. Our crucial support includes assistance for the accelerated development and rapid distribution of a safe, effective vaccine or vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. Below is information on this American vaccine effort.

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Coronavirus: DOD Response

The Defense Department is working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Department to provide support in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.