Operation Warp Speed and the COVID-19 Vaccine

By Kevin Schulman, Abishek Thiagaraj
2021 | Case No. SM345 | Length 23 pgs.
As the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses and schools in 2020, global health authorities and governments kick-started the quest for a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. This case study details Operation Warp Speed, the $18 billion public-private partnership initiated by the U.S. government to accelerate the research, development, manufacture and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine therapies. The case explores the history of public-private partnerships in the United States, and the ambitious U.S. government effort to deliver 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021.

Learning Objective

The case study is designed to help students explore the theory, economics, and risks of public-private partnerships—and specifically how to gauge the success of Operation Warp Speed, which aimed to develop and supply COVID-19 vaccine therapies in large quantities to vaccinate the U.S. population.
This material is available for download by current Stanford GSB students, faculty, and staff, as well as Stanford GSB alumni. For inquires, contact the Case Writing Office. Download