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With Operation Warp Speed, US officials hope to have a COVID-19 vaccine in place by the end of the year, but the Los Angeles Times cautions that vaccine development usually requires a dose of patience.

It notes that only seven new vaccines have been approved in the US in the past 25 years, as developers have to negotiate not only the intricacies of the immune system and the slyness of pathogens, but also the economic and regulatory realities. 

With this initiative, though, President Donald Trump has ordered academics, government officials, private companies, and the military to work together to get 300 million doses of a vaccine ready by January 2021, the LA Times reports. It notes that to do this, many steps that would typically occur sequentially will have to be done in parallel. Additionally, the effort has already awarded more than $2 billion to five companies that have vaccine candidates at different stages of development, it adds.

Vaccine experts are cautiously optimistic, according to the LA Times. "It's fine for politicians to say we're going to have a vaccine next month," the Mayo Clinic's Gregory Poland tells it. "But the literature is littered with false starts and unanticipated safety effects in vaccines."