April 30, 2020 / 3:15 AM / a month ago

Trump administration plans 'Operation Warp Speed' to rush coronavirus vaccine - Bloomberg News

U.S. President Donald Trump talks with a Reuters reporter as they walk down the West Wing colonnade before an interview about China, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and other subjects in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

(Reuters) - The Trump administration is quietly planning a major undertaking to speed the development of a coronavirus vaccine, with a goal to have 100 million doses ready by year’s end, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Called "Operation Warp Speed," the project will join private pharmaceutical companies with government agencies and the military in trying to cut the development time for a vaccine by as much as eight months, Bloomberg News said bloom.bg/2YgpC1j.

It said a White House meeting on the project was scheduled for Wednesday.

Last month, President Donald Trump directed Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to speed development of a vaccine, and administration officials have been meeting on the effort for three to four weeks, the report added.

Executives and other experts have suggested that clinical trials to guarantee a vaccine is safe and effective could take a minimum of 12 to 18 months. HHS did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Howard Goller

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