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New vaccine triggers a new plan for distribution

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is of global significance, and 2020 is not a year that will soon be forgotten. The development of COVID-19 vaccines are imminent and seen as a solution that the world is looking for to see a return to some semblance of normal. When vaccines are available, getting the vaccine from production to the global population will be the next challenge.

Vaccine development is the first step in an extensive distribution process. Governments need to plan and build the strategies, infrastructure, and organization to manage the post-production supply chain for vaccine delivery. There will be significant differences between the global north and the global south in how governments can address these challenges. A vaccine delivery ecosystem is required to coordinate this supply chain challenge. This VDE is a public-private partnership (PPP) that orchestrates the private and public networks to ensure that populations are effectively inoculated. This blueprint provides an overview that includes problem definition, direction, and opportunities for technology use cases in addressing:

  • The global distribution process’s scale and complexity, requiring processes, checks, and balances that provide supply chain control.

  • The integrity and security of the vaccine, along with the protection of the information that goes with it. This protection level needs to occur through storage, delivery, and transport of the cargo as it travels within and between countries.

  • Customs and international border crossing procedures, which need to be reviewed to prevent disruptions and delays, destroying the vaccine through poor temperature control, mishandling or incorrect documentation.

  • End-to-end monitoring of temperature, ensuring the integrity of documents and data to meet compliance requirements, and last-mile distribution all need to be assured to reduce waste and slow the pace of the virus.

  • The integration with healthcare systems to meet further compliance requirements and coordinate with any ad-hoc or interim facilities or procedures that may be required.

  • The complexity of workforce, patient, PPE, and inventory scheduling.

This blueprint developed by the Logistics & Supply Chain Management Society (LSCMS) in collaboration with IDC, serves as an awareness tool to drive open engagement between stakeholders to discuss safe and effective options for ensuring vaccination distribution with minimal waste and maximum integrity to the world’s population.

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First appeared in LogiSYM Magazine

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