The scientific community has now served its purpose in ending the pandemic and is bringing the COVID-19 vaccine closer to our arms. However, this is just one step out of many as the baton now passes from the scientific community to the collaboration of healthcare professionals, governments, private sectors, and community groups.
With its massive coverage, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is clearly unlike any other vaccination programs in the past years. In fact, to say that the scale of the challenge for this to be done is immense is an understatement.
You see, not only are governments and vaccine manufacturers faced with the production of massive volumes of doses challenges, but they are also challenged with how to plan for the uncertainties around the vaccines’ efficacy, safety, and durability. On top of this, logistical and storage issues also come to play, as well as service-delivery models.
This comes as no surprise since the coronavirus vaccine has been developed four times faster than the mumps vaccine which was also developed for widespread community use, giving governments less time to prepare and generate a vaccination program.
In addition to this, the COVID-19 vaccine is needed to be administered four times larger than the average vaccination programs globally. This is because to achieve herd immunity, more than half of the adult population need to be vaccinated. This meant that billions of people will need two dose of the vaccine across the world, making it the largest simultaneous global public-health initiative ever.
As a response to these challenges, governments should start preparing end-to-end planning, from the release of vaccines in the production sites to the administration of them to the individuals. They should also invest in ultra-cold-chain systems (in case they don’t have one available yet) and be prepared and knowledgeable enough for the possible administration of multiple vaccines for their citizens.