Vaccine Supply Chain Management in covid-19 perspective

Abstract

It has been found that 27.97 million vaccines are being administered every day. But only 2.3% of people in low-income countries received at least a first vaccine by September 2021, according to official reports from national health agencies, which is collated by Our World in Data. Concerns exist about whether some countries producing vaccines may impose protectionist controls by export restrictions. So that it would stockpile a COVID 19 vaccine for their own population. In June, the Serum Institute of India – a major manufacturer of global vaccines – reached a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca to make 1 billion doses of vaccine for low-and-middle-income countries, of which half of the doses would go to India. This is an issue of supply chain management to manufacture and send it to the end-user.In the United States, restrictions on vaccine eligibility have been lowered. And wealthier individuals from other countries with unhurried vaccination rates were reportedly traveling to the United States to be vaccinated.

Keywords: Vaccine Supply Chain Management, Covid-19.

 

Article

Introduction

A vaccine is a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and deliver immunity against one or several diseases. It is prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease. COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people may develop mild to moderate illness and recover even without hospitalization. Proper vaccine storage and handling practices play a very important role in protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccine quality is the shared accountability of everyone, from the time vaccine is manufactured until it is administered.

 

 

 

Vaccine-Supply-Chain

 

WHO information regarding covid-19 vaccination

As of 30 September 2021, 6.27 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered worldwide.  45.4% of the worldwide population has received at least one dose. 27.97 million vaccines were then being administered every day. But only 2.3% of people in low-income countries had received at least a first vaccine by September 2021, according to official reports from national health agencies, which is collated by Our World in Data. During a pandemic on the rapid timeline and scale of COVID-19 cases in 2020, international organizations like the World Health Organization and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, vaccine inventors, governments, and industry evaluated the distribution of the covid-19 vaccines. Individual countries producing a vaccine may be persuaded to favor the highest bidder for manufacturing or provide first-service to their own country.

 

 

Vaccination availability

Concerns exist about whether some countries producing vaccines may impose protectionist controls by export restrictions that would stockpile a COVID 19 vaccine for their own population. The Chinese government pledged in May that a successful Chinese vaccine would become a global, public good, implying sufficient doses would be manufactured for both national and global distribution. In June, the Serum Institute of India – a major manufacturer of global vaccines – reached a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca to make 1 billion doses of vaccine for low-and-middle-income countries, of which half of the doses would go to India. Similar preferential homeland distribution may exist if a vaccine is manufactured in Australia. In the concluding half of February 2021, it was reported that wealthy and influential people from Canada and European countries flew to the United Arab Emirates to secure early access to the vaccine. The UAE has been endorsing Dubai as a vaccine holiday hub for the super-rich, who can pay a hefty amount to skip the queue and get inoculated before the vulnerable ones. As restrictions on vaccine eligibility were lowered in the United States, wealthier individuals from other countries with unhurried vaccination rates were reportedly traveling to the United States to be vaccinated. In Europe, several travel agencies are offering vaccine vacations facilities.

 

Vaccination related cold chain issues

The Bullwhip effect occurs when a change in the consumer demand causes supply chain participants to order more goods in order to meet the demand thereof. When you’re dealing with a cold chain, the bullwhip effect can get even more complicated since the goods involved therein are more sensitive to issues caused by delays or disturbances of any kind. Basically, it is what the name says, a bullwhip effect, like a whip handle that creates a ripple effect of fluctuation with even a little whip, the change in demand also multiplies at each level, just like with an actual whip.

Covid-19 Vaccines and the cold chain

Vaccines are as follows: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi / GSK, R-Pharm, Sinopharm, CureVac, Pfizer, and Bio N Tech, Moderna. Whereas manufacturing facilities are in the following areas: China, Egypt, EU, USA, China, Russia, India, EU, China, South Korea, UK, USA, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Argentina, USA, EU, Russia, Kazakhstan, Argentina, USA, EU, India, Cuba, Russia, Iran, Taiwan, Russia, and Kazakhstan. A Covid-19 vaccine shipment is supposed to be protected by thermal wrapping while in transit. Different vaccines have different shipping and handling requirements. For example, the Pfizer-Bio N Tech COVID 19 vaccine must be shipped and stored between −80 and −60 °C (−112 and −76 °F), must be used within five days of thawing, and has a minimum order of 975 doses, making it unlikely to be rolled out in settings other than large, well-equipped hospitals. The Moderna vaccine vials require storage above −40 °C (−40 °F) and between −25 and −15 °C (−13 and 5 °F). Once refrigerated, the Moderna vaccine can be kept between 2 and 8 °C (36 and 46 °F) for up to 30 days.

 

Conclusion

Each of the Covid-19 vaccines has a dissimilar contour, but they all have one thing in common: the need for cold-chain storage, ranging from around –70°C (–94°F) during particular shipping to around 2 to 8°C (36 to 46°F) when administered. In some cases, manufacturers are working on more thermostable versions of their vaccines, but for now, countries are having to consider how best to plan for delivery to their citizens based on current thermal-stability profiles and available supply-chain solutions.

 

Reference:
1. Sun LH, Stanley-Becker I. “Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be the first to get coronavirus vaccines, CDC advisory group says”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
2. Fleming, Michael. Okebukola, Peter. Skiba, Kathrin. (2021). “Port to patient: Improving country cold chains for COVID-19 vaccines”. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/port-to-patient-improving-country-cold-chains-for-covid-19-vaccines

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