Vaccine producers and US officials have indicated that hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, meaning they can provide the vaccine to pharmacies and mass-vaccination sites after two months of supply bottlenecks. Guidelines in last-mile delivery can help organizations prepare for the logistic challenges that lie ahead.
- 1 How Well Does the Distribution of Vaccine Work?
- 2 Vaccine Delivery Challenges
- 3 Vaccine Delivery Strategies
- 4 Conclusion
How Well Does the Distribution of Vaccine Work?
As soon as the FDA approves emergency use authorization for the vaccine, it will be delivered within 24 hours.
According to the CDC’s recommendations, high-risk individuals will be chosen for vaccination based on the vaccine supply relative to the people of the jurisdiction. As part of the vaccination program, vaccines will be provided directly to the places specified in each jurisdiction’s vaccination plan.
The vaccine will be administered via various routes. Registered clinicians and 19 pharmacy chains that have partnered with the HHS to provide consumers with direct access to COVID-19 vaccines when they become available will be able to provide immediate vaccine delivery.
Upon distributing the vaccines, delivery to each jurisdiction will continue as long as the vaccine is manufactured.
Ongoing data tracking will assist in monitoring who received a vaccine, when and where it was administered.
Vaccine Delivery Challenges
Considering the experiences gained from 2020, we should anticipate the following delivery challenges in delivering the COVID-19 vaccination:
A vaccine’s effectiveness is short-lived. Incorrect dosage counts or inadequate infrastructure can have long-term negative consequences, and in general, the farther away from the destination node, the more difficult it becomes to resolve.
Certain vaccines require extreme cold storage; Pfizer requires -70 degrees Celsius. Locations without adequate cold distribution facilities may have to share them with other businesses, such as agriculture.
When communication fails, a supply chain’s efficiency suffers as well. The United States has policies and guidelines that differ by state and county, making it even more critical for infrastructures to be trustworthy.
There will be a great need to convert plenty of existing immunization sites in states and communities to prevent long queues or total lack of availability.
During the last five years, supply-chain methods and delivery systems have advanced significantly since the previous global pandemic.
Vaccine Delivery Strategies
When designing vaccine delivery mechanisms, government and private organizations should take into account these strategies:
Plan for bottlenecks
A system that integrates logistics with delivery can aid managers in managing road difficulties, supply shortages, and logistics gaps. A system that connects the holes and provides quick access to crucial delivery information can assist planners in coordinating delivery schedules and supplies in real-time.
Bring transparency to the fore.
An auto-tracking system will allow emergency workers to contact hospitals for information if a vaccine freezer in a truck breaks down. An automated system would let hospitals track their freight and receive updates on the delivery date. By optimizing communication concerning vaccine delivery, modern delivery platforms can assist everyone in making better, faster decisions.
Comply with all legal standards.
Couriers need to follow several rules to safeguard the safety of their valuable cargo. State and regional legislation may alleviate some of the emotional stress vaccine couriers face by tailoring legislation according to local needs. For example, the pharmaceutical and cannabis businesses have built trustworthy mechanisms into their delivery software to track these requirements and assure they fully comply.
Resolve any concerns that arise on the day of the event.
On delivery day, capabilities such as dispatcher supervision, ETA, automatic SMS message notifications, dynamic navigation, and proof of delivery may guarantee that everyone understands where the supplies are and can intervene in the event of an issue.
Maintain your flexibility.
Many firms and NGOs were forced to flip their business strategies quickly last year, sometimes in as little as 24 hours. Whatever vaccine delivery tactics we employ, we will undoubtedly encounter uncertainties along the road. As a result of these roadblocks, real-time tracking and modifications will be critical. Providing data amongst delivery providers, mainly information and analytics from on-the-ground experiences will also be beneficial.
Prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Develop a regular procedure for reminding individuals of their visits and a list of alternate receivers who may be called if necessary.
Prevent vaccine deterioration.
Distributors should have contingency procedures in place in case their freezers break. The Iowa Department of Public Health’s vaccine storage and handling document, including all backup contingencies in one copy, is a good example. With vaccines being so valuable, we should all use a backup strategy.
Make use of current resources.
For the physical limits we’re encountering, somewhere with refrigeration that can handle large groups of people and offers public transportation or parking could be beneficial. Stadiums, hospital ships, and movie theatres are all viable choices.
Our focus is on overcoming this threat and moving forward after a year of lockdowns. There is no one-size-fits-all option for vaccine delivery, but working together can increase our chances of success. If you agree, comment here.
Mollary, H. (2020, November 18). HEALTH COVID-19 vaccine distribution will begin within 24 hours of an emergency use authorization. Health Care Finance.
Naim, Kh. (2021, February 18). Seven Last-Mile Lessons That Could Improve Vaccine Distribution. Supply Chain Brain.
Guold, J. (2021, February 24). Improving Vaccine Delivery, Operations. HMP Global Learning Network.