By YonBee Yang | January 7, 2021
With the first potential COVID-19 vaccine(s), anticipated as soon as early this year, strong and efficient supply chains will be critical to support pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. Logistics plays a vital role in vaccine delivery. With market demands, international travel and supply chain restrictions as well as temperature-sensitive products only add further complexities into the mix. Generally, vaccines are stored and transported between 2 to 8°C. However, with over 250 vaccines being developed and tested across the world, the temperature requirements for at least some of them are likely to be considerably lower. As the development of most of these vaccines have been fast-tracked looking at their urgent need to control and end the pandemic, experts also feel that more rigorous procedures will be imposed to maintain and protect their efficacy during transportation and storage. This may necessitate temperature-controlled transport and warehouses to be at ultra-low temperatures (up to -80°C).
The air cargo industry will surely have a very pivotal role to play in the whole vaccine delivery chain given the nature of the cargo (i.e., the need for speedy delivery with temperature compliance for safety and efficacy, handling capability of the stakeholders, operational specialisation, etc.), but this would translate into mammoth capabilities. Ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccines reach every nook and corner of the world, no matter how far-flung and remote they are, will require a robust infrastructure for a green corridor to transport COVID-19 vaccines, along with a large number of trained personnel and monitoring capabilities.
If companies and organizations are to prepare an effective global supply chain for a vaccine, they must be able to look ahead and do so accurately. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a crystal ball, but predictive and prescriptive analytics are the next best thing.
COVID-19 is, of course, unique as a virus and there is nothing to directly compare it to in recent history. However, the medical industry has a myriad of data which can be used to inform their approach. This includes data about past vaccine supply chains, distribution methods, population densities, as well as recently available data surrounding demand and supply of a vaccine. An effective vaccine would not only save lives but allow people to return to a more normal life. Businesses could reopen with greater confidence and the global economy could begin a much-needed bounce-back. How quickly this can happen depends on two things: the creation of a vaccine and how quickly it can be supplied globally. The latter is something we can and must prepare for.
By taking advantage of simulation technology, organizations can virtually test their supply chain strategy to ensure the resiliency of their network. The digital twin will then predict potential failure points in the supply chain allowing organizations to prepare for any eventuality. Therefore, both an effective supply chain strategy and alternate strategies can be planned in advance in anticipation of the vaccine.
In partnering with an innovative leader like Bricz, your supply chain solutions can be optimized for maximum customer satisfaction with a competitive advantage. We at Bricz have partnerships with various service providers and are uniquely positioned to understand both sides of the demand-supply chain to ensure the flow of the proper dosage, to the proper destination, at the proper time and condition. Reach out to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!
Contributor: Partha Nayak, Supply Chain Consultant at Bricz