WASHINGTON, DC—Leaders of “Operation Warp Speed” (OWS), the government program tasked with developing a Covid-19 vaccine, insist that despite the name, their top priority is safety, not speed. As proof, they announced today that their Phase I trials—the phase that typically evaluates safety—will enroll 7.8 billion people.
“This will be the largest clinical study ever,” boasted OWS Chief Advisor Moncef Slaoui, PhD, “which obviously means it will be the safest.”
With so many participants, researchers expect to uncover every possible adverse effect of each vaccine candidate. “If any of these potential vaccines are universally fatal, we’ll soon know it, and we can make sure that one never makes it to market,” said Dr. Slaoui, as he plunged the first dose of an experimental vaccine into a screaming baby.
Of course, the size of the study is not the program’s only feature clearly designed for safety, not speed. With lines extending for hundreds of miles, they are keeping things safe by reusing the same needle on everyone. “There are millions of people on line to get a shot,” said OWS Chief Operating Officer Gustave Perna. “Imagine how many needle stick injuries our staff would suffer if they had to swap needles after every injection!”
According to Mr. Perna, they will also be injecting the doses intravenously. “Again this is for safety reasons. Too many people complain of sore muscles with the IM shots. That’s a risk we’re just not willing to take.”
“Sure, we’d love to do this speedily, too,” Dr. Slaoui remarked, “but if people prefer we go much slower, we’d be more than happy to change our name to ‘Operation Slow As Molasses,’ though I believe that name’s already been taken by the HIV vaccine folks.”
Anti-vaccination groups, perhaps surprisingly, are in full support of this program. “Finally we have a study that’s taking safety seriously. It’s just wonderful that they’re testing every population and every demographic group to ensure safety—that’s all we ever wanted.”
But in a secret recording of an OWS meeting, leaked to GomerBlog, Dr. Slaoui appears to have let the truth slip out. “Of course we’re only about speed! We don’t even have a control group. And it’s called ‘Operation Warp Speed’ because by the time the study ends and the FDA approves one of these vaccines, everyone will have already received it!”
Wow, that is warp speed…or is it warped safety?
UPDATE: Hours ago, Dr. Slaoui announced that OWS had found a safe vaccine in record time. A member of the press asked: “So you got the safety and speed part down, but is it effective?” To which, Dr. Slaoui shrugged and replied: “Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!”