So, how much vaccine did the Trump administration order?

Simple answer: over 800 million doses
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Biden continues to denigrate or dismiss Operation Warp Speed and  claim (or least blatantly insinuate) that he and his administration should get credit for the hugely successful vaccination program.

Malarkey!

Let’s do a deep dive, starting with the basics …

Dr. Fauci — Biden’s go-to political-scientist (and highest paid Federal employee) — told the nation repeatedly in 2020 that no vaccines would be available until mid-2021 at the earliest, more likely in 2022 … and possibly later than that.

For the record, the Pfizer vaccine got its Emergency Use Authorization on December 11, 2020 … and, we’re on a track to have the country vaccinated before Fauci — who is always certain, but often wrong —  said the first shot would be available.

In subsequent posts, I’ll be referring back to Fauci’s gross misjudgment.

Spoiler alert: I’ll be arguing that his pessimism gave states legitimacy for procrastinating their preparations for the vaccine rollout … which left many states unprepared (or underprepared) when the vaccines were approved.

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Biden even said in a CNN townhall that there was were no vaccines available when he took office. Source

Apparently, he forget that he got his first dose on December 21, 2020 … and his 2nd dose on January 11, 2021.

Senior moment or intentional fib?

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Biden has backtracked on that remark but…

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Biden keeps claiming, to this day,  that Trump’s Operation Warp Speed was negligent for not ordering enough vaccine.

C’mon, man.

For openers, the Operation Warp Speed team made pre-approval vaccine commitments in mid-2020…

That is, they placed non-cancellable vaccine orders before any of the vaccines were proven effective in clinical trials and approved for use.

Note: These pre-approval commitments mitigated drugmakers’ risks … allowing them to put manufacturing capacity in place “on spec”, instead of waiting to start after FDA approval.

Fact: As part of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration entered into contracts with multiple drugmakers … while their potential vaccines were still in clinical trials … and, with no certainty that the respective vaccines would ever be approved.

Specifically, pre-approval commitments were made to 6 vaccine manufacturers:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech: 100 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • Moderna: 100 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • J&J: 100 million doses (one-dose regimen)
  • AstraZeneca: 300 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • Novavax: 100 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • Sanofi-GSK: 100 million doses (one- or two-dose regimen)

If all 6 vaccines were to make it through clinical trials and the FDA approval process, the amounts agreed to under these pre-commitment contracts would total about 800 million vaccine doses, or enough to fully vaccinate more than 450 million people. Source

Of course, not all of the vaccines have been approved (yet) … and, some may never get approved.

So, let’s focus on the vaccines that have been approved…

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Again, the Pfizer vaccine was approved on December 11, 2020.

Roughly 2 weeks later, on December 23. 2020, as part of OWS, HHS signed an agreement with Pfizer for an additional  100 million doses (over & above the pre-approval commitment) … with options to purchase an additional 400 Million doses. Source

So, Trump’s Operation Warp Speed handed the Biden administration orders and options for 600 million doses of just the Pfizer vaccine — enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans.

Note: Biden has (appropriately) exercised the contract options with Pfizer, positioning the transaction as “orders that the prior administration didn’t place.” 

Apparently, Biden doesn’t understand the concept of of “options to buy”.

Add in the pre-approval commitments to Moderna and J&J and the total of available vaccines swells to 800 million doses — enough to vaccinate 450 million people.

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By inauguration day, almost 40 million doses had already been distributed to the states and the daily vaccination rate was passing through the 1 million shots per day mark.

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Since inauguration day, an average of over 1.5 million shots have been administered daily — a function of increased supplies (from manufacturers) and improved coverage and efficiency.

The supply flows have continued to ramp up … and daily vaccinations now are over 2 million per day.

Which leads to a question…

How much of that is attributable to Team Biden’s claimed magic touch and how much of that is simply implementation ramp-up of Trump’s OWS plan?

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The GAO Report

A recent  GAO report looked retrospectively at Operation Warp Speed provides some perspective.

In November 2020, the GAO observed that “vaccine manufacturing is highly complex and generally will ramp up at a graduated pace, rather than starting at full-scale.”

That shouldn’t be new new news to anybody who has ever been involved in a new product launch.

To that point, the GAO concluded that “OWS vaccine companies face several challenges with rapidly scaling up manufacturing operations to produce the hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines” … for which they had made contractual commitments.

Specifically, the GAO noted that there was a bottleneck: “A shortage of facilities with capacity to handle fill-finish manufacturing.”

And, the GAO noted that “the supply of the materials used in fill-finish manufacturing, such as glass vials and pre-filled syringes, is limited.”

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The OWS Response

Based on prior knowledge and the GAO November, 2020 GAO Report, various government agencies — working under the OWS umbrella — initiated corrective actions, including:

> Working with one vaccine company (J&J) to  identify a manufacturing partner(s)  to increase production of its vaccine.

Note: Recently, Biden announced the J&J – Merck manufacturing agreement had been executed, intimating that it as having been crafted whole-cloth by his administration.

> Deploying the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to oversee construction projects expanding capacity at vaccine manufacturing facilities, including support to “component-producing companies that provide cell culture media and glass vials.”

> Providing DOD assistance in expediting procurement and delivery of critical manufacturing equipment and supplies.

Specifically, “as of December 2020 QWS agencies had placed prioritized ratings on 18 supply contracts for vaccine companies under the Defense Production Act … .and worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to expedite necessary equipment and goods coming into the United States.”

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Bottom line

Operation Warp Speed was much more than a bold initiative to speed the development of Covid vaccines.

It also covered the pre-ordering of adequate vaccine, securing options for post-approval orders and working with vaccine manufacturers to expand and ramp-up their manufacturing capacities.

So, for Biden to suggest otherwise and try to claim credit is, well, pure malarkey.

My sports analogy: a football team grinds down the field to the 1-yard line and then hands the ball off to the aging veteran fullback for the TD and one final hurrah.

The difference: In football the aging vet realizes that he’s the punctuation point, not the sentence … and, doesn’t trash the rest of the team that battled to put the ball on the 1 yard line.

I guess that’s the difference between football and politics…

One Response to “So, how much vaccine did the Trump administration order?”

  1. Even the MSM is debunking Biden’s claim of “no vaccine plan”… | The Homa Files Says:

    […] So, how much vaccine did the Trump administration order? […]

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