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How to Manage COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution with Last-Mile Delivery?

Aastha Malhotra 11th February 2021
last-mile delivery of COVID-19 vaccine

2020 was a year of tragedies, and the biggest one to hit economies around the world was COVID19. While it is time for us to adapt to the new normal, pharma companies worldwide are ready with their COVID19 vaccines. It may seem to be a dream come true if the vaccines can drive COVID away, but the last-mile delivery issues persist. 

For example, the most popular vaccines from Pfizer, and other pharma companies need cold storage requirements to distribute vaccines. There have been attempts by authorities to culminate errors in delivery schedules for the efficacy of vaccinations. 

Authorities are developing an Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) to track and manage the distribution, but it may not be enough for further remote areas. Here, intelligent delivery software like Tookan can help pharma companies with effective distribution management. 

So, how can we ensure efficacy in vaccine distribution with Tookan? Let’s discover!

What is the last-mile delivery?

Last-mile delivery

A last-mile delivery system executes the deliveries of goods from a distribution hub to the end customer location. If you consider a COVID19 vaccine distribution chain, the vaccination vials are distributed to the state level and further at the local healthcare centres. 

The last mile delivery approach explores vaccines’ deliveries from state-level repositories or storage to local vaccination centres—the first step towards the last-mile delivery process of feeding in the order details in a centralised system. 

This software is responsible for alerting both the central warehouse and state-level repositories. From these repositories, the final transport of vaccines is conducted towards local centres. So, the allocation of deliveries, tracking, and management of tasks lies with the last mile delivery system. 

Significant Challenges of COVID19 Vaccine Distribution

Many challenges in COVID19 vaccine distribution need analysis and identification before creating a solution.

The Distribution Delay

Vaccine distribution

Image Source: Freepik.com

COVID19 vaccines alone are not enough, as we need to create a barrier of immunity for curbing the spread of the virus. Vaccinating more people can ensure the safety of others. For example, about 20 million people needed vaccination in the US for the herd immunity approach. Pfizer and Moderna- the two pharma companies that have emergency usage permits sent about 14 million doses. But, the real vaccination number was just 2.8 million across the US. 

The real reason for the distribution delays remains the heterogenous last-mile delivery systems across different US states. There are similar issues across the world in many countries with diverse distribution hubs and centres. 

Alternate Approach

vaccine distribution

As we move forward into vaccination stages, there will be a focus on other options than just vaccinating people at healthcare centres. Further phases of vaccination will stress that people can take vaccines at their homes, avoiding excessive rush at physical distribution centres. A study suggests that the DIY(Do It Yourself) care trend is already a reality.

Vaccine distribution stats

While this may seem simple in logistics, the last-mile delivery systems need advanced solutions like Tookan to track, manage, and deliver vaccines to individuals’ residences. 

Need For Specialized Logistics

last mile delivery of vaccine

Most of the vaccines in the market need cold storage requirements to maintain efficacy. Such cold environments protect against the environmental elements and human enzymes that can damage the mRNAs. Vaccines are mRNAs that replicate the effect of a real attack of coronavirus on your body to provoke your immune cells. 

According to Lisa Morici, PhD, associate professor in the microbiology and immunology department, at Tulane University School of Medicine, “mRNA rapidly degrades. There are also enzymes in the environment and all around us that break down mRNA.”

These vaccines need to be kept under specific low temperatures till the last mile delivery is complete, and shots are administered. Here, a smart solution like Tookan can come in handy, with features like auto-tracking of storage characteristics. 

Tookan is a centralised off-the-shelf solution for smarter last-mile delivery management. Let’s discover more about this platform.

What is Tookan?

Tookan - last mile delivery software

Tookan is a smart delivery management solution that helps businesses manage and track each delivery task. For understanding the Tookan platform, let’s know the real problem with delivery management in any industry.

The biggest problem with modern delivery management processes and structure is its digital infancy. Whether you are a startup or a conglomerate, the supply chain management depends on digital tracking of delivery tasks at each touchpoint.

The problem lies with the heterogeneity of touchpoints. For example, delivery tracking of a COVID19 vaccine across a metro like New York becomes more comfortable as there is a sound digital infrastructure. But, maintaining the same efficacy in a remote area of Nigeria or Vietnam is difficult.

To maintain efficacy across the supply chain, any organisation can depend on two possible solutions,

1. Partnership with a third-party delivery service for commission-based charges. 

2. Adopting a customised solution based on cloud services to offer smart delivery management with complete autonomy.

Tookan explores the second option for businesses to track every delivery task from a centralised solution. Most importantly, Tookan makes the allocation of delivery tasks efficient. It employs an auto-allocation feature to optimise the delivery route and avoid delays. 

Tookan For COVID19 Vaccine Last-Mile Delivery 

We will try to understand how Tookan can help with a smart solution for significant challenges of last-mile delivery.

Smart Vaccine Distribution 

last mile delivery of COVID-19 vaccine

Tookan comes with an auto allocation feature that can help with faster distributions. Pharma companies, state authorities, and government officials will need specific tracking details of each order. Tookan offers detailed data for each order and a tracking link that accurately provides the location details. 

The platform also helps with the optimal routing of deliveries for on-time task completion. It can help COVID19 vaccines to reach the desired healthcare centre in time. The platform comes with a dashboard that presents different options to manage last-mile delivery.

Tookan dasboard

The settings option in Tookan allows businesses to track their delivery fleets and have all the management features in a centralised dashboard for better efficacy. 

Door to Door Delivery

Door to door delivery of COVID19 vaccine

Image Source: Freepik.com

In the second phase of vaccination, the last mile delivery will take centre stage. Here, Tookan’s intelligent algorithm can help you with better management of deliveries. The agent app offered by Tookan in the technology stack helps the delivery personnel coordinate with the authorities. 

Tookan - vaccine distribution

The user interface un agent app makes access to useful information easy, plus delivery personnel can also have real-time alerts. 

Keeping the Vaccines Cold

COVID-19 vaccine

Apart from tracking delivery or even managing the distribution fleets, maintaining the COVID 19 vaccine’s low temperature is the biggest challenge. Maintaining the temperatures in your fleet will need tracking of cooling in the vehicles.

Tookan uses IoT(IoT) and BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy) to offer effective tracking of goods during the last mile delivery. 

Authorities can leverage customised solutions from Tookan to create a tracking feature to measure temperatures exactly while the vaccines are in transit. Such a platform can help authorities alert an automated interface on the vehicles that adjust the temperature according to surrounding heat. 

Take an example of the modern auto climate control feature in your car. It detects the surrounding temperature and adjusts the cabin’s heat accordingly. The last-mile deliveryvehicles should have cold chain storage facilities and licensed drivers with an integrated solution to enable constant tracking. Tookan can help remote access to such a technology installed into the vaccine delivery fleet. 

Post Delivery Tracking

Last mile delivery

When the scale of vaccination is this massive post-delivery track and trace is quintessential. With Tookan tracing, the delivery completion becomes easy. It instantly offers notification validating the delivery by the recipient through two-factor authentication with state-of-the-art biometric detection technologies. 

Tookan has features that can help pharma companies customise the platform with the help of technical support. They can also create a customised agent app with Tookan’s tech support and seamless the entire tracking process. 

Conclusion

COVID19 has been the trigger to take the world economy to a digitised version, which may have been a little far away. The same digitisation is set to revolutionise the whole healthcare system. Smart solutions like Tookan can be the leverage that authorities and pharma companies to vaccinate a large population. 

Not only will it enable better last-mile delivery of vaccine, but it ensures post-delivery tracking to record each successful vaccination. So, if you are a pharma company on the verge of large-scale distribution, Tookan is one of the best last mile delivery solutions to try. 

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