In response to the news that Boris Johnson wants to get a flu jab to everybody in the run-up to winter this year, Madhav Durbha, Group VP, LLamasoft, made the following comment in which he discusses the challenges of supplying the jab and what needs to be done to ensure the UK Government can deliver on their promise.
“Promising and producing this level of flu jabs is one thing, but ensuring the supply chain can deliver it to those most in need, while also protecting its viability is more important. Data-driven guidance will be key to enable strategic planning and decision-making on such a massive scale so the vaccine reaches the millions of population that need it.
Temperature control is a major challenge. While accidental freezing of vaccines is more common in lower-income countries, it is still an issue for 33% of facilities in wealthier countries, such as the UK. As a result, maintaining an effective cold chain is critical, as vaccines must be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius from manufacturing all the way through the immunisation of a patient.
Predictive and prescriptive analytics will be crucial if millions of vaccines are to be delivered nationally and to the most vulnerable in society. To ensure this, the most recently available data on demand and supply must be matched with the network capacity. Then, by leveraging advanced data science, algorithms, and cloud computing, the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry can make informed and fair decisions, ensuring that the Government can deliver on its promise: flu jabs for all of those most vulnerable.”