How properly we distribute and administer a COVID-19 vaccine may have huge well being, social and financial ramifications. So consideration is popping to vaccine provide chains and logistics.
Designing how greatest to vaccinate billions of individuals worldwide is complicated. That is significantly so for big international locations, comparable to Australia, the place distributing vaccine to rural and distant areas is required.
Regardless of quite a few previous pandemics and epidemics, only a few research globally have tackled the issue of designing and constructing an environment friendly vaccine distribution community. Current research have additionally not absolutely thought-about all components affecting vaccine distribution.
So our group designed a mathematical mannequin to check totally different situations for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, which we’ve submitted for publication.
What we took into consideration
Our mannequin checked out other ways to distribute COVID vaccine to six.9 million Victorians, based mostly on the variety of residents predicted in 2021.
We modelled this utilizing distribution by way of the state’s 325 medical centres, which may be every part from massive metropolis hospitals to small medical centres in regional areas.
We assumed most vaccine distribution can be by highway and sufficient refrigerated automobiles can be obtainable.
We additionally factored into our mannequin that sure sections of the group are at elevated threat of publicity (as an example, metropolis dwellers) and others are extra prone to an infection (as an example, aged-care residents and health-care staff). These individuals are not uniformly distributed across the state, affecting vaccine distribution logistics.
We then examined totally different situations to see how lengthy vaccination would take.
Our analysis exhibits we’d like three key components for fulfillment.
1. Medical centres should be sufficiently big
We calculated that if the capability of the 325 medical centres is massive sufficient, and if sufficient vaccine is offered, your entire inhabitants of Victoria may be vaccinated inside 60 days.
By capability we imply the utmost variety of vaccine doses every medical centre can administer. And this capability will depend on a variety of things together with centres’ bodily dimension, and having sufficient workers to manage vaccines.
This timeframe or “goal horizon” is the overall variety of days to vaccinate the inhabitants of Victoria. Though we’ve calculated that is potential inside 60 days, the state or federal authorities will really set this goal.
To vaccinate all Victorians in 60 days, we calculated we would want a minimal of roughly 9,500 vaccine packs with 12 vaccines per pack, each day. This assumes one shot per individual and ample vaccines can be found. A restricted provide or a disruption to provides would possibly improve the administration interval past 60 days.
If medical centres run at decreased capability or current capability just isn’t sufficient, this additionally will increase the time taken to vaccinate. Conversely, if the purpose is to vaccinate Victorians in below 60 days, our mannequin suggests we have to increase our capability to vaccinate.
This could possibly be by utilizing cellular vaccination items or hiring further workers.
2. Vaccines should be shipped between medical centres
We additionally present the significance of transporting vaccines between medical centres, often known as transhipment. This permits medical centres quick on vaccine to acquire doses from the closest medical centres with further provide.
Transhipment can also be essential in terms of vaccinating probably the most susceptible individuals. That’s as a result of we will switch vaccines from medical centres serving less-vulnerable populations to these with extra residents in larger precedence teams. Transhipment additionally permits us to switch vaccines from areas with much less publicity to areas of upper publicity. And it permits vaccines to succeed in distant areas.
Nonetheless, transhipment locations further burden on highway transport networks.
3. Vaccine packs should be the precise dimension
We additionally present it is very important get the vaccine pack dimension proper. This seemingly minor element had a major impact on the general interval of vaccine administration.
We thought-about pack sizes that include 5, 12, 20, 30 and 50 vaccines. Bigger pack dimension considerably will increase the necessity for transhipment between medical centres. That’s as a result of bigger packs would should be damaged up into smaller parts, then distributed to a number of medical centres.
We advise governmental businesses fastidiously consider vaccine pack dimension when contracting and negotiating with vaccine producers.
That is related to all Australia
Whereas we used Victoria as a case examine, we will apply our mannequin to different states and territories.
Particularly, the significance of pack dimension, transhipment between medical centres, and contemplating further capability to vaccinate in a shorter period of time will apply in each context.
Actually, the outcomes for different states and territories will rely on their variety of obtainable medical centres, inhabitants dimension and inhabitants distribution.
Our mannequin helps resolution makers strike a steadiness between the price of constructing further capability to attempt to obtain inhabitants vaccination in a given time scale or accepting a more cost effective method that takes extra time.