Challenges in vaccine distribution

Assuming that a COVID-19 vaccine gets discovered within the next 1-2 years:

    What will be the major challenges in delivering the vaccine to people in low- and middle-income countries? How can digital technology help mitigate or solve these challenges?

Hello @Shabbir, @nothmany, @acowlagi, @cimdal2, @dzera and @RahulJindal - Please join the discussion and share your thoughts on the major challenges in delivering medicine in developing countries and how technology can help solve these challenges. Thanks.

Hi @Lizzy_2020, @a1m2r3h4, @Mellie64 and @SArora - It would be great to hear your thoughts on the major challenges in delivering the vaccine to people in low- and middle-income countries. Please join the discussion. Thanks.

Major challanges in delivering the vaccine to people in LMIC are:
Lack of accessibility

Hi @fbaothman, @PHall, @Mohammadimr and @sshinde - It would be nice to hear your thoughts on the major challenges in delivering the vaccine to people in low- and middle-income countries.

One of the major challenges in delivering vaccines to people in low- and middle-income countries lies in building the capacity amongst health care workers. To be successful, these health care workers should both be able to educate people to the need for vaccinations and develop the skillset to carry out such vaccination programs.
Digital technology helps mitigate or solve these challenges by training health care workers (nurses, Community Health Workers, etc.), to learn new processes and protocols, and train new staff at scale, efficiently and cost-effectively.
The ECHO model ( is a telementoring –low dose high frequency hub and spoke model designed for rapidly scaling best practices of complex information. It can be used at multiple points to support front-line teams and public health officials designing protocols.

@SArora Thank you for your post! We are looking into ECHO and may come back to you with more questions.

@Lizzy_2020 Thank you for your post!

There several challenges that one encounters when trying to deliver vaccine, and these challenges are even more pronounced in the developing world like African my Continent. Vaccines and other types of medicine are temperature sensitive (Can this cooler save kids from dying? | Bill Gates).

There are challenges of reach and basically knowing which areas have been covered, accessed, are accessible and how do you plan when the world is so vast, how do you administer the supply such that you know who received the vaccine and who still needs to? There are issues of identity, documentation and administration that have to be addressed, these are areas where the blockchain technology has proven quite a handy. You need to manage your stock well and prevent theft. (Digital Mapping Technology Helps Polio Vaccinators Zero In | Bill Gates).

Not all rural areas are easily accessible using our traditional modes of transportation and indeed not all last-mile logistics are economical and efficient using traditional modes even in urban areas. This where drone technology can play a very critical role in bridging that last-mile logistical challenge. ( (Zipline Is Delivering COVID-19 Medical Supplies to Rural Ghana and Rwanda by Drone).

The black market for medicines is thriving in African and other developing nations, this then poses numerous challenges that range from dealing with counterfeit products to theft, as vaccines sometimes are stolen and sold to the black market. So the are supply chain challenges with delivering the products. And we have to protect people against the cheap, counterfeit products that will emerge from the Chinese companies.

I am sure you have once come across the propaganda and hate speech again Bill Gates and vaccines, I have and it was mostly perpetuated either by Religious Extremists or Marxists/ Communists Pan-African classes with claims of Enlightenment. Their influence on the vulnerable population is immense and exacerbated by the advent of social media, this issue is never dealt with is a systemic way that ensures we have repeatable principles to tackling it, at least according to my limited knowledge.

If you going to talk about vaccine distribution, you might want to ensure you include

That’s it from me for now.
…as Vulcans say, Live Long and Prosper.

  1. There are issues of efficiency and accessibility in last mile logistics New Zipline drones can deliver medicine faster - YouTube. This issue is also important in urban first world countries
  2. Identity & traceability, you need to be able to trace each vaccine to a person, to ensure safety, quality and anti-theft. IOTA explained in 2 minutes! - YouTube
  3. Supply Chain Visibility, you need to be able to track and trace every bottle from the manufacturer to the recipient to ensure transparency. IOTA explained in 2 minutes! - YouTube
  4. Planning & Coverage etc, you need to know which areas you have covered and which are outstanding: Digital Mapping Technology Helps Polio Vaccinators Zero In | Bill Gates
  5. Temperature: Can this cooler save kids from dying? | Bill Gates
  6. There are issues of truck being hi-jacked and vaccines sold to the black market.
  7. There are also counterfeit products that will emerge, how do you deal with that (Blackmarket).
  8. There is also propaganda in vaccines, like Bill Gates being an Illuminati and killing people, mostly coming from Marxist/ Pan-African tribes or Religious Extremists. Why Bill Gates is the focus of COVID-19 conspiracy theories
  9. Checkout on all things vaccine.

Thanks @bngejane for sharing amazing insights into challenges in vaccine distribution.
Hi @LeeStein, @Riika and @marschenrj - You may have thoughts on challenges of vaccine distributions in LMICs. Please join the discussion to share your thoughts on this discussion and the comments so far. Thanks.

Beyond the physical logistics of vaccine:
Standard vaccines consist of dead and weakened pathogens, as well
as proteins derived from those microorganisms. Instead, genomic vaccines are made of DNA or RNA which, upon injection, enter human cells which then churn out the desired proteins. As industrial protein production is lengthy and expensive, this technology has the potential to make cheaper and faster-designed vaccines.

Vaccine Stock Management

In India, eVIN—the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network—developed a real-time information app on vaccine stocks and flows. The whole immunization supply chain is reinforced, especially for last-mile healthcare workers.

@bngejane - Thanks for sharing information on genomic vaccines and eVIN.