Digitization - The Driving Force for Vaccine Distribution

Wednesday, Dec 29, 2021, Navi Mumbai - by SCMProFit(India)

Today, there is no challenge bigger than that of delivering Covid-19 vaccines in a timely and efficient way since it has claimed over 5.3 million deaths as of date, according to World Health Organization (WHO) reports.

It normally takes years to identify vaccines. But things moved extraordinarily rapidly in response to Covid-19. By February 2020, Moderna had already begun to ship its vaccine candidate off for Phase 1 clinical trials. By early April, BioNTech, Oxford, Janssen, Novavax, among others identified their leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

The core challenge in vaccine delivery is making sure that every part of the supply chain wheel is well-oiled to prevent losses throughout the system, avoid delays and vaccine spoilage due to temperature excursions. Given the estimated scale and speed of the vaccine delivery process, digital technologies have become vital to supporting the planning, delivery, monitoring, and management of vaccination programmes.

Fortunately, umpteen technologies are coming up in recent years which are quickly available for the digital transformation of supply chains. The growth in complexity of immunization programmes is driving a requirement for innovative supply chain strategies and technology. To meet this need, the process should consist of an efficient strategy and a viable vaccine distribution system that would smoothen the supply chain.

SCMProFit platform brings in the best mobile-based vaccine distribution management system in the industry with temperature monitored storage locations, track proper utilization of Vaccines across supply chain benefiting inventory accuracy at Hub, Regional/ District and Health Facility. A robust cloud platform allows improving performance and a mandate to provide the required vaccines in the right VVM conditions at the right time and place across the target population.

Additionally, the platform provides tools for exception and alert management, an integrated framework to connect with a third-party eco-system and allows progressive inventory planning to ensure vaccines are distributed on priority as per the demand.

As per an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) report, “Challenges include identifying and deploying appropriate tools given the variations within the digital readiness of countries, the coverage and capacity of communications networks, capacity of governments to style and implement digital solutions, and therefore reform the level of digital literacy among healthcare workers and the population.”

As countries worldwide deliver countless vaccinations to guard people’s physical health, they ought to similarly seek to harness digital technologies but manage the associated risks and challenges through the proper mix of enablers and safeguards.

A successful immunization programme is made on end-to-end supply chain and logistics systems. These systems enable effective vaccine storage, distribution, handling, and management, safeguards temperature control within the cold chain; and leverage logistics management information systems to market resilient and efficient system performance. The final goal is to make sure the uninterrupted availability of quality vaccines from manufacturer to service-delivery levels are so that the opportunities to vaccinate aren't missed.