Operation Warp Speed

Operation Warp Speed

March 15, 2021

Not since World War II and the Manhattan Project, has a project been so important to the world as Operations Warp Speed.  Its goal was to take a process that normally takes years to complete, and bring the COVID-19 vaccine to the world.

As a result of its importance, a public-private effort using many resources sped the development of the vaccine.  Under less urgent circumstances, vaccine development may take up to 10 years, billions of dollars, and have a high failure rate.  Several COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and made ready for distribution in less than one year.

A variety of tactics were applied to the problem.  One is the combination of private/government collaboration.  Additionally, the US Federal Government allocated $10 billion in federal funds to support the effort.

This money allowed organizations to apply funding to crash activities, in order to reduce completion time.  In many cases, activities normally completed in sequential fashion were completed simultaneously, or at least allowed to overlap.  For example, many phases of the clinical trials were overlapped to reduce time.

Also, with government funding, production of the vaccines began before the clinical trials had ended.  Under Continue reading

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Airlines Analyze Summer Capacity

Airlines Analyze Summer Capacity

March 7, 2021

European airlines must soon make critical decisions about summer flight schedules, but with the pandemic still raging and a slower-than-expected vaccine rollout schedules are being made and scrapped at a dizzying pace.

Consumers, unsure of what the future holds, now favor last-minute bookings, making it difficult for airlines to forecast or identify patterns to help them plan summer schedules.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the WTVB article, Airlines flying blind into summer capacity sweepstake, by Laurence Frost and Sarah Young, February 2, 2021, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Fly View Productions/E+/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1.  How serious a mismatch was there last summer between forecasted and actual demand, and how did this affect final scheduling?

Guidance: Airlines planned summer flight availability in early spring of 2020.  As the first lockdowns started, plans drastically changed.  Of the 755 million seats originally scheduled for flights in Western Europe last summer, some 72 percent were cut.

2.  Continue reading

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Repurposing Unused Capacity for Vaccination Sites

Repurposing Unused Capacity for Vaccination Sites

February 17, 2021

Mall retail store vacancies are at historic highs of 10.5%.  Meanwhile, vaccination sites require significant parking spaces near major transportation routes, with room for a large number of vaccinated patients to wait the required 15 minutes after treatment while under observation for allergic reactions.  Colder weather makes indoor facilities ideal for this 15-minute waiting period.

Empty mall space is an ideal solution for local health departments to utilize for vaccine administration.  As such, mall owners across the country have been partnering with local health departments.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNN article, Vaccination megasites pop up in empty malls, by Parija Kavilanz, January 15, 2021, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Francis Zera/Spaces Images/Blend Images LLC

Discussion Questions:

1.  Choose a local mall that students might be familiar (or draw a typical mall layout on the Continue reading

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