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.

An airman wearing personal protective equipment installs test equipment. - The 378th Expeditionary Medical Squadron recently installed new COVID-19 test equipment at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, Aug 14, 2020. The BioFire Diagnostics System increases the medical staff’s capability to identify possible COVID-19 cases on base by producing results within an hour.

An airman wearing personal protective equipment administers a COVID-19 test to a person in their car. - Air Force Airman 1st Class Kokou Dekadjevi administers a COVID-19 test at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 10, 2020. Dekadjevi and the medical group’s diagnostic testing center employees administered more than 330 tests in a two-day span to 7th Special Forces Group soldiers returning from a deployment.




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.