COVID19 Vaccine Transportation : We cannot refrain from applauding the scientists who developed the COVID19 vaccines to save humanity from the clutches of the pandemic.
In such a short period, the vaccines developed by scientists are the only hope for seeing the dreaded pandemic coming to an end.
But, for the vaccines to remain effective, they need stringent temperature environments that pose a grave challenge to transporters who ship the vaccines worldwide, from the production facilities to healthcare centres.
The focus has shifted to address the challenges in effectively transporting the vaccines.
For COVID19 vaccine transportation, a flawless cold chain is necessary. COVID19 vaccine transportation is a complex task that poses multiple challenges, necessitating correct storage or packaging, cold chain transit, shipping and storage solutions.
The need for distributing somewhere between 12 to 15 billion COVID19 vaccines across the globe calls for a trusted and secure cold chain.
Questions to Ask Before COVID19 Vaccine Transportation
Before a pharmaceutical company ships its COVID19 vaccines, there are a few questions that it has to ask itself, such as:
- Do you understand the entire supply chain, from your facility to the administration points?
- How will you manage over or under-provisioning inventory, obsolescence and expiration by location?
- Do your end facilities have specific requirements, such as ultra-low temperature freezers?
- What are your security measures?
- How will you handle temperature excursions?
Also, ensure that the healthcare facilities to which you send COVID19 vaccines have a vaccine storage refrigerator to store the vaccines effectively.
The Necessary Factors for Effective Transportation
Successful vaccine transportation requires a planned and sophisticated approach, traceability across the supply network and real-time operational delivery. Without these attributes, transporters cannot optimize a COVID19 vaccine cold chain.
Apart from the right planning, and sophisticated transportation equipment, the supply chain needs strict temperature controls. Any deviation from the prescribed temperature range will damage the entire vaccine consignment.
But, there are ways out. With appropriate supply chain strategies and new technologies, transporters can achieve perfect and flawless transportation of COVID19 vaccines.
To ensure traceability across the supply network, a system to track unit-level items, spot problems, find an optimized solution, communicate action plans, and communicate a response is necessary for transporters. .
Sophisticate network technology is what COVID19 vaccine transporters require. With such a network platform, transporters can get full traceability for every vaccine throughout the entire supply chain.
Transporters can get visibility in real-time from the start to the end of the journey.
The approach also helps to attain real-time visibility throughout the entire supply chain.
In this way, transporters can get visibility, track quality, and optimized decision making.
Combining the power of software with planning and execution, attainment of real-time visibility into the cold chain is possible for transporters.
Efficient cold chains can provide the right vaccines in the right quantities, in the proper condition, and at the right time and place.
Optimizing the COVID19 Vaccine Cold Chain
Now, let us explore how to optimize the COVID19 vaccine cold chain. Here are how:
The first step is to plan out the entire transportation framework. Determine the infrastructure and asset capacity–trucks and cold storage units–to figure out whether the suitable capacity is available for making efficient distributions.
When transporters need to transport millions of vaccines across the world, they cannot escape demand planning. They should evaluate the cold storage equipment in different regions and the corresponding capacities and ensure that the right capacity is available to hold their consignments effectively.
Transporters need to assess the available transportation options, determine whether airports and ports can handle the bulky traffic, and map the routes for the supply chain.
COVID19 vaccine transporters must manage inventories in efficient ways. They should ensure that the vaccines move from the production facilities to healthcare centres in a strict temperature-controlled environment throughout the journey.
Managers of transportation companies should create frequent demand forecasts and ensure that adequate vaccines reach global locations before the expiry of the vaccines.
Maintaining the Correct Temperature
Maintaining the prescribed temperature range is an integral part of the COVID19 vaccine supply chain.
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There can be possibilities of temperature fluctuations within the vaccine supply chain. And that is why they should ensure that they maintain the right temperature along the entire supply chain. They should use digital devices to monitor and report the temperature in real-time. Besides, the devices should have an alert mechanism to send out alarm signals whenever the temperature goes out of the prescribed range.
Tracking the vaccine consignment is an important activity for vaccine transporters to avoid unwanted happenings, like thefts. With real-time tracking, transporters can get a complete picture of vaccine consignments in transit. Besides, they should plan their distributions according to the vaccines’ expiry dates. Transporters should ensure that the vaccines reach their destinations well before the expiry dates.
Ensuring Product Integrity
As COVID19 vaccine consignments traverse through many countries and locations, they become susceptible to dangers, like tampering and theft. Therefore, transporters should maintain the integrity of the vaccine consignments during transit to ensure that the vaccines retain safety and efficacy.
Transporters need to preserve vaccine integrity. And to achieve this, they can serialize the batches for easy identification. They should use smart IoT devices to record the pick-up and delivery of the vaccines.
If transporters detect any unauthorized intervention, they should immediately alert the management to take corrective action. Besides, they should train their staff to identify counterfeit vaccines.
Transporters should take the last mile delivery seriously. They should ensure no temperature fluctuations in the last mile and healthcare facilities receive potent vaccines.
The delivery vehicles should have the right equipment for maintaining the proper temperature.
The delivery systems should be a part of the tracking systems to assure visibility of movement and delivery.
Being a senior business associate, Peter Davidson strives to help different brands and startups to make effective business decisions and plan effective business strategies. With years of rich domain expertise, he loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through his well-researched content pieces. Follow him on twitter.