CoVid Vaccine Supply Chain : The new superhero, in a quest to save the world
Supply Chain Integration has been a hot topic over the decade. Tonnes and tonnes of capital is being pumped in, to make the Supply Chain efficient, agile and reliable.
To put the whole piece of the jig saw puzzle, right from sourcing to the last mile delivery a lot of efforts have been put in. Over the decade of robust planning and execution, finally the world of Supply Chain gears up to biggest test in the modern era.
The Cold Supply Chain, is bracing for its toughest and the biggest test.
The major challenges this vaccine supply is going to pose are viz.
- The glass vial and stopper supply : When the whole world is reeling through a series of lock-downs and production cuts, getting the supply of Glass Vials and stoppers in place is going to be a tough task. A shortage of any of the two will be a bottle neck.
- The Syringe and Needle Supply : Even if the Vaccine is ready, without the device to administer the same the whole effort will go for a toss. The syringe and needle supply will be bottleneck. A lot of suppliers are bracing up for this challenge and are ramping up the production to meet the requirement.
- Production facilities : The mass scale production facilities for the vaccine is not spread across the globe. It is concentrated in 5–6 nations. This will skew the whole supply network. The production capacities are being ramped up to meet this abnormally high demand.
- The Cold Supply Chain facilities : Airports and hubs are building facilities to store the vaccines. A lot of 3 PL giants are putting the necessary infra in place for the biggest vaccination drive. Be it, setting up giant temperature control storage rooms at airports to specialized alleys in the hubs and distribution centers.
- Implementation strategy of Government : A big pool of professionals trained in administering the dosage of vaccine would be needed. Oral vaccination drives involve less technicality and the mobilization of the workforce for the same is relatively easy. Reaching to the remotest place with the CoVid vaccine is going to be challenge
- Last Mile Delivery : From drones to specially designed containers. This is going to play a major role in reducing the wastage in this whole supply chain. Maintaining temperature of the vaccine till it is administered is the key and this is the stage where major infrastructural challenge will creep in.
- The biggest challenge is adhering to all the above mentioned points at an affordable cost. Right cost is one of the major factor in this whole vaccination drive.
The success of this drive depends on the reach of the vaccine and the reach of the vaccine is highly dependent on the costing.
This is surely going to drive major investments in Public Healthcare facilities and network in the densely populated regions of South East Asia and sparsely developed regions of Africa.
The level of planning and execution for this holds the key. In the developing countries, reaching to the far flung areas is still a big challenge. The complexity increases manifolds when the vaccine is to be administered in these locations.
This massive drive will involve mobilization of manpower and material across the length and breadth of globe. Unless and until the governments collaborate and plan for this, the execution is going to be an uphill task.
From India’s point of view :
The exhaustive rail network is going to play a major role in transportation of the vaccine. Rural electrification scheme will add a lot of value in supporting this whole supply chain. This is a test for the nation where terrain, population and lack of infrastructure is going to make the whole implementation drive an uphill task.
But along side all these difficulties, this nation has presented many success stories to the world like polio vaccination drive.
The success of this CoVid Vaccination drive largely rests on two major pointers viz.
- How effectively the various functions of supply chain collaborate and communicate?
- How effectively the Government machinery will collaborate and mobilize the manpower?
If we are able to stitch the whole piece together this Vaccination Drive will set a new course for the Supply Chain as well as infrastructural push for public healthcare facilities in the remote locations.