As the current worldwide coronavirus pandemic continues to spread at an alarming rate in India and around the world, it’s clear that the only solution is a tried and tested COVID-19 vaccine.
However, when it comes to the distribution of the vaccine, there are significant hurdles to be faced. One such challenge is the factor of vaccine wastage and how it can be effectively mitigated during the distribution process.
According to the World Health Organization, vaccine wastage is considered to be the proportion of opened or unopened vaccine vials which are not used to vaccinate an eligible individual.
Due to the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine wastage poses a significant risk to the objective of distributing the vaccine to 1.2 billion people in India and a total of 7.5 billion individuals worldwide.
To better understand the need for end-to-end monitoring, it is important to know the reasons vaccine wastage occurs.
When it comes to opened vials, many reasons can cause vaccine wastage. However, wastage in unopened vials is avoidable and must be reduced as much as possible.
To properly understand the need for vaccine condition monitoring, it’s important to understand the root causes of vaccine wastage. They are –
Vaccines can only be stored within a certain temperature range, outside of which they become unfit to be administered to an individual.
If improper temperature monitoring occurs, it’s not uncommon for vials to become damaged and unusable.
Unless large vials are used for mass vaccinations, it is reported that smaller vials result in less overall wastage than larger vials. At times, it has been observed that surplus vaccines remaining in larger vials go unused and eventually wasted during mass immunization.
During the distribution of the vaccine, poor estimation and forecasting is a large contributing factor towards vaccine wastage. It’s important to know the exact quantity of vials required to immunize a population.
Countries that receive extra vials are more likely to have higher rates of vaccine wastage, either due to or inaccurate data or misappropriation of requirements.
According to a report by the WHO, approximately 1.4 times more vaccine vials must be ordered to cover the 29% expected wastage.
According to Vaccine Wastage Assessment, a report by UNICEF, increased vial wastage leads to a higher demand for the vaccine. However, since the supply remains a challenge to increase, this leads to avoidable cold supply chain and procurement costs which further drive up the price.
For countries like India, the impact of vaccine wastage lies in the number of unused vaccines potentially resulting in the loss of crores of rupees that could have been used to save lives.
The need of the hour is a condition monitoring solution to contain wastage of vaccine doses.
Vaccine vial monitors or VVMs were introduced in 1996. Today, they are present in over 80 countries worldwide.
During the immunization process, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance officially requires the implementation of VVMs. Healthcare workers must be properly trained to operate such technology in time for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Incorrect training and operation of vaccine vial monitors can further lead to avoidable vaccine wastage.
The national cold store is where bulk quantities of vaccine vials are stored. It also plays a key role in the distribution process in the cold supply chain.
When it comes to preventing vaccine wastage, constant temperature environment monitoring and modulation is essential.
RealMeds is leading the way when it comes to end-to-end vaccine condition monitoring.
With the help of blockchain technology, RealMeds can implement comprehensive track & trace solutions for successfully distributing the COVID-19 vaccine using Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
These solutions allow for anti-counterfeit measures to be implemented for each vaccine unit. As a result, the quality and quantity of each vaccine dose can be tracked and documented immutably.
Using incorruptible, decentralised blockchain technology and AI and IoT keeping track of distribution, RealMeds ensures that the end-to-end vaccine environment monitoring becomes a reality. This means less vaccine wastage, lowered erroneous demand and therefore, more lives saved.
RealMeds is a modern Track & Traceability and Anti-counterfeit solution for Vaccines. It’s unit level traceability, end-to-end condition monitoring and counterfeit protection helps you realise your goal of safe vaccine delivery to your consumers.
Contact Us for an online demo and see how RealMeds is best for your vaccines.