Children's Hospital Colorado

Operation Warp Speed and the Race to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine (S3:E66)

Countries around the world are racing to develop a vaccine to help end the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, Operation Warp Speed — led by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense — involves almost $11 billion of funding for seven different companies to develop vaccines. Three of these companies —Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer — are in late-stage trials.

Listen to a pediatric infectious disease specialist discuss COVID-19 vaccine development

In this podcast, Sean O'Leary, MD, joins us to talk about COVID-19 vaccine updates and what role a vaccine would play in pediatrics. Dr. O’Leary is an infectious disease physician at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Director of the Colorado Pediatric Practice-Based Research Network. Dr. O’Leary is also a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In this episode, our experts discuss:

  • The typical vaccine development process
  • Time savings from COVID-19 vaccine development
  • The roles of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in the development and approval of vaccines
  • The biology of the various vaccine candidates such as inactivated, live, mRNA and virally-vectored vaccines
  • The need for studying COVID-19 vaccines in large populations of children since the current trials are only in adults
  • An estimated timeline for ACIP to make recommendations to the CDC
  • What we know about the length of immunologic protection from the vaccines
  • The impact that masks may have on the measure of vaccine effectiveness
  • Which populations should be considered priorities for the vaccine
  • Global politics around vaccine development

Treatment of infectious diseases at Children’s Colorado

Our pediatric experts in the Infectious Disease Program at Children's Colorado provide a breadth of expertise ranging from laboratory-based research to the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. Pediatricians can treat many infectious diseases, but when unique or different symptoms are present, it’s important to refer to a pediatric specialist. We are prepared and ready to treat patients with suspected or confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus. Our clinical staff has been specially trained on how to identify, isolate and treat patients with this and other contagious illnesses.

Refer a patient to Children’s Colorado.