Last-mile delivery expert offers key advice on handling vaccine rollout

"Ensure your tech stack protects delivery, cold chain, workers, administrators, dispatchers and end users, with transparency into exactly when the vaccines will be delivered," says Onfleet CEO.
By Bill Siwicki
01:33 PM
Vaccine COVID-19

The U.S. is continuing to ramp-up its COVID-19 vaccine delivery efforts. It's priority No. 1 for the new Biden Administration.

Khaled Naim, CEO and cofounder of Onfleet, a vendor of last-mile delivery management software, offers some frank advice healthcare organizations should consider when distributing the vaccine. 

Onfleet manages hundreds of thousands of deliveries per day in more than 90 countries, including prescription medication deliveries during COVID-19. The company works with three top online pharmacies – as well as PPE delivery and food banks delivering mission-critical food to families.

More vaccine locations

"First, expand the number of vaccine locations," Naim advised. "Utilize existing testing centers for the COVID-19 vaccine and explore the use of large venues, stadiums, medical ships and places that can safely accommodate large groups of people. These locations must have refrigeration, safety protocols, easy access to public transportation and parking, as well as open spaces to act as testing hubs."

Prepare existing facilities for vaccine delivery, he said. Help pharmacies, hospitals and clinics rapidly transition to "delivery" of the vaccines. Help prepare "outbound" delivery locations, such as food banks and nursing homes, taking time to ensure privacy and legal and medical compliance prior to distribution.

 

"Make no mistake, this might be the most complex supply chain problem ever imagined."

Khaled Naim, Onfleet

It's also important to "integrate with a larger network," he continued. "Ensure your tech stack protects delivery, cold chain, workers, administrators, dispatchers and end users, with transparency into exactly when the vaccines will be delivered. Every minute counts, and reliable, safe delivery is crucial to getting the population vaccinated."

Keep all parties in the loop

Naim said to ensure that vaccine IDs can be accessed. Work with government programs so all parties involved with the vaccine delivery, distribution and implementation can quickly and easily access the status of the vaccine delivery in real time so all parties are kept in the loop on this crucial information, he added.

"Make no mistake, this might be the most complex supply chain problem ever imagined," he said. "However, if the scientists could develop an equally impossible solution in less than a year, it seems fitting that our business and healthcare community can manage a vaccine administration in equal or less time."

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bsiwicki@himss.org
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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