Vaccinating the global population against COVID-19 is one of the most daunting challenges humanity has ever faced. It’s not just the large-scale production of vaccines but also the challenges of maintaining safety and efficacy of time and temperature-sensitive supply chain and distribution and logistical challenges that have forced the governments worldwide to look for new technologies to make this task safer, efficient, and easier.
Here’s how blockchain technology can help with the task.
How Blockchain Technology can help build digital trust
With the help of blockchain technology, multiple parties can manage and contribute to a decentralized database. Below are some features of blockchain technology that help build digital trust.
- It is not owned by one party; all participants along the supply chain can join and share relevant data
- It is immutable, meaning the existing information cannot be deleted, leading to a higher level of accountability by each participant that contributes to the data
- It is the platform that provides the full track of every item in real-time.
Due to the above benefits, blockchain technology could solve some of the most stubborn challenges of vaccine supply chain management, such as:
- Accountability of the parties involved
- Accuracy in tracking items,
- Discouraging counterfeits,
- Stock management challenges
Blockchain Technology uses in Covid-19 vaccine management:
Maintaining cold-chain requirements
Vaccines require specific temperature and humidity standards during the distribution leg. Blockchain can ensure that essential handling procedures are followed and vital details remain intact, leading to fewer losses due to improper maintenance of the cold chain.
As COVID-19 vaccine raw materials are sourced, and the vaccine is manufactured, stored, and shipped, critical quality attributes are pre-defined. Any excursion outside of these ranges can affect the quality, efficacy, and safety of the vaccines.
Blockchain technology can monitor a company’s cold chain in real-time. Also, as it is not owned by any single entity and immutable, the provenance of raw materials and finished products from production to vaccine administration can be logged, ensuring all-time accessibility of data. With the help of data, a potentially bad batch can be easily identified and removed without affecting the full shipment.
Streamlining Vaccine Distribution
As each stage of the product lifecycle and the provenance of materials can be traced with the help of blockchain, suppliers can anticipate demand, and healthcare providers can track when shipments are arriving or delayed. Healthcare providers can also create a distribution plan based on incoming supply and demand constraints, ultimately streamlining vaccine distribution and improving trust for patients receiving the vaccine.
Blockchain enables strict adherence to product design, quality specifications, and compliance with regulations. Also, it is immutable and cannot be tampered with, ensuring proper storage and handling of vaccines and safety of data along the way.
Trust and Transparency
Blockchain allows manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and healthcare professionals to share a common immutable database, providing accurate information across the chain while holding all parties accountable. This helps establish trust and transparency and eliminates the possibility of counterfeit vaccines entering the value chain.
Identical guarantee for the vaccinated individuals
People getting vaccinated would have an identical guarantee for the number and type of vaccines they receive.
Improved collaboration for developing resiliency
Blockchain innovations can improve collaboration among different companies, governments, and healthcare providers regardless of location by providing transparent and secure data.
With the vaccine manufacturing, supply, distribution, and administration monitored over the blockchain, it would become a lot easier to keep track of the entire process, and health experts and policymakers would be able to take prompt actions if required. Such efforts would streamline the distribution of this life-saving vaccine and speed up the fight against this deadly virus.