“IN THE DISMAL early days of the pandemic, a vaccine seemed depressingly far off. Historically, the average time to develop a new vaccine was 10 years—far too long for our current emergency. But then something happened to shift things into overdrive: serious government action.
The White House and Congress created Operation Warp Speed and started plowing some $18 billion into it. The Feds authorized huge, multibillion-dollar preorders for vaccines, and with such a large guaranteed market, pharmaceutical firms moved into high gear. The government also threw its logistical know-how at the hellish challenge of distributing the vaccines. Scientifically, of course, we were prepared and lucky. Genetic sequencing was advanced and speedy, and scientists cooperated globally. But it was the critical push from governments (the US and others) that propelled the fastest vaccine mobilization in history.”