Novak, Department Of Health And Human Services, Hana Joffe Walt discussed on The Daily

The Daily
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I mean just listening to you. This is an exhausting process. You have to follow each and every one of these steps in order. No matter how long it takes. That's right and. One thing that stops a lot of companies from bringing their products to the finish line is something that people call the Valley of Death What's So the Valley of death is the period between a when a company has figured out a good candidate for a vaccine or even a drug, and then they have to put it through clinical trials and clinical trials phases. The three phases and those trials they're expensive. They're risky. They take a lot of coordination with hospitals and doctors around the world, and if you fail at any step in the process, you kind of have to go back to the drawing board. So that's a lot of times where products that were very promising. Basically, die. And none of this time line that you're describing would seem ideal for developing a vaccine in the middle of an urgent deadly pandemic. No. So after that March meeting when trump was pushing for the companies to even faster than what would have already been a record timeline. Top regulator at the FDA was also thinking about how to make this process go faster. and. What emerges becomes known as operation warp speed walk drive in Scott accelerating to warp one. Sir, which is a reference to star Trek because the regulator was a fan of the show. Right. Because as everyone who is at least forty years old knows. The. Ship at the center of Star Trek travels at warp speed. Yeah. That's right. I was really skeptical when he first came out because I thought it was trump just repackaging stuff that was already being done. What do you mean? Well, there's already a unit within the Department of Health and Human Services whose whole job is to give money to companies that are developing vaccines or other treatments, and to help them get through that Valley of death but would operation warp speed did was they took that idea and they just ran with it? The idea was to get more companies involved at a much bigger scale. So Congress at that point had appropriated almost ten billion dollars in funding for both vaccines and for treatments, and the hope was that that would allow the companies to shift their resources to these clinical trials to data analysis and development that they would give them a lot of cash and neck basically speed up the whole process. But what was really new under the operation warp speed plan was how they were approaching manufacturing. because. Normally, drug company isn't going to start mass producing their vaccine and tell they know that they're vaccine works and tell it's gone through all of these clinical trials and they have a pretty good idea that it's sexually gonna come onto the market. and. So the federal government had the idea to pay these companies. A lot of money to start making millions of doses had their vaccine before they even knew that it would work. But if one of them does, then you know as soon as we know that safe and effective, we will have millions of doses that are ready to go. But of course, on the flip side of that is the reality that the government will be paying companies to make millions of doses of vaccines that will. Very. Likely many of them never get used probably have to get tossed into the garbage. So they're basically taking on financial risk that the companies would never want to do on their own. In. The final piece of operation words speed is they brought in the military. Operation more speed is actually being led by two agencies, the Department of Health and Human Services, which is overseeing the science and the development of the vaccines and the Department of Defence, which has a lot of experience in logistics. And the thought here was that the military can supply a vast amount of materials quickly to different locations whether that's for the clinical trials or for manufacturing or ultimately to distribute millions of Americans So. Can you just as summarizes under operation warp speed? The government is incentivizing companies to. Try to make vaccines by giving them billions of dollars on top of that it is paying for these companies to manufacture those vaccines even before we know whether they're safe and effective so that they will be ready at a moment's notice and finally behind the scenes and surrounding all of this the United States military is basically on call to keep this process moving. Yeah. That's right. Okay. So how does it all? Go. I mean what what happens. Once all this stuff is in place and operation warp speed is unleashed. Mr Giving, just vast sums of money to a lot of different companies for the US government is planning about one point two billion to Astra Zeneca in its fights and Madeiran. Ah they got a lot of money about a half billion dollars in federal funding Johnson and Johnson has been given a boost nearly half a billion dollars to develop a covert vaccine and treatments. And then in July, the government gave the biggest amount had given out to date. This is a one point, six, billion that's billion. Dollar contract to Nova vaccine the largest up to one point six, billion dollars to a company called Novak's. This is a huge award for Novak's which is a smaller company which was notable because this is a company that had been around for more than thirty years and yet it had never in that history successfully brought a vaccine to market. Yeah Novak's is unproven. They have been trying for decades and so far have not succeeded. Back. The Michelle Obama podcast is out now on spotify. The series brings listeners inside the former first lady's most candid and personal conversations showing us what's possible when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to open up and to focus on what matters most listened free at spotify dot com slash Michelle Obama. This is Sarah Caney coast to the serial podcast I wanNA tell you about our new show. Nice. White parents. It's reported by Hana Joffe Walt who's made some of the best most thought provoking most emotional radio stories. I've ever heard back in two thousand fifteen Hana wanted to find out what would happen inside this one public school in her neighborhood during a sudden influx of white students into a school that had barely had any white students before and then not satisfied that she fully understood what she was seeing she. Went all the way back to the founding of the school in the nineteen sixties, and then forward again up to the present day and eventually Hana realized, she could put a name to the unspoken force that kept getting in the way of making the school better white parents I've been waiting. So long to tell people about this show, and now I can finally say it go listen to nice white parents. Nice. White parents is made by Cyril Productions, New York Times Company. You can find it wherever you get your podcasts. So can you why would operation or speed give up to one point six, billion dollars to Novak's this company that has never brought a vaccine.

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