A Groundbreaking Vaccine Will Need a Groundbreaking Supply Chain
November 12, 2020
News of the first successfully completed vaccine trial has the potential to bring relief to billions of people around the world. But as encouraging as trials may be, it is extremely important to note that a vaccine cannot be as effective if it is not effectively distributed and trusted by the public.
Keeping doses cool
A key problem for disseminating mRNA vaccines is they normally need to be kept very cold, roughly 70 degrees below zero, the same temperature used to transport active human tissue.
Temperature aside, the supply chain for vaccines and prescriptions already appears to be complicated. Each player in this supply chain also has middlemen of their own without whom the supply chain would not be possible.
Tracking the last mile
This variety means that to maintain a near real-time view of the vaccine supply, officials will need access to a platform that can unite diverse, localized vaccine management strategies in a single integrated view.
Officials will also likely need to be able to maintain and manage multiple dosing, requiring proactive scheduling, planning and demand forecasting across thousands of different locations. Public health officials will need to draw on a diversity of methods to alert and engage with citizens, while also working to provide medical records that may interface with State-owned systems. Personal information and immunization records must also be carefully maintained according to health information laws and regulations.
Mitigating supply chain risks
Finally, all of the incredible work it takes to create a vaccine like this could be undermined by bad actors, counterfeiters and the threat of cyberattacks. In July, The National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned that the pandemic has created additional security risks for the supply chain, from the prevalence of employees working on potentially unsecure servers, to the large variety of vendors with different security standards and vulnerabilities. This information and level of threat is not new, however the effects of a global pandemic have brought a new appreciation of the risk and potential impacts.
A whole government approach and public and private sector partnership, drawing on pharmaceutical companies, technology companies, state and local governments, the non-profit sector and more, must come together so that the COVID-19 vaccine is able earn the public’s trust. And for this to happen, manufacturers, distributors, dispensers and citizens must all have some assurance they are working the “comprehensive view of the truth,” a shared and transparent “truth.”
We know that building trusted information exchanges at scale is possible thanks to technologies like hybrid cloud and blockchain. Open hybrid cloud technology allows organizations to work together and share information across a multitude of different computing environments. Taken together, these tools make it possible to bridge platform differences, allowing organizations of all size work together toward a common goal.
Feb 06, 2021 at 21:46