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How IoT Supply Chain Management Can Help Vaccine Distribution

4 minute read

While issues surrounding the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine are dominating headlines, concerns about vaccine supply are not new. In fact, a 1985 report from the National Research Council (U.S.) Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Vaccine Supply and Innovation, examines production and supply among other issues affecting vaccine availability.

Since 1985, however, the pharmaceutical industry has benefited from technology innovations that help advance vaccine research and production, speed time-to-market in clinical trials, and mitigate supply chain risks. Many of those benefits can be attributed to the adoption of IoT technology.

“Vaccine distribution involves a long, complex chain of events,” according to a recent article from the Associated Press. “Every dose must be tracked.” IoT supply chain management solutions, including cold chain monitoring and critical asset tracking, provide the visibility needed to ensure temperature compliance, mitigate risks, and optimize supply chains.

Temperature Monitoring

The COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized and recommended for use in the United States are from Moderna and ​​​​Pfizer-BioNTech. Both vaccines have ultra-low temperature requirements, with Moderna’s vaccine requiring a storage temperature of negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requiring a storage temperature of negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit. IoT supply chain management solutions offer the cold chain monitoring needed to ensure temperature compliance is met in transport.

Real-Time Alerts

When pharmaceutical shipments require adhering to strict temperature control, passive condition monitoring solutions such as data loggers don’t provide the real-time visibility and alerting needed to ensure quality control and risk mitigation. With IoT supply chain management solutions, like Critical Asset Monitoring, real-time notifications enable stakeholders to take action before a temperature deviation occurs, ensuring that valuable and urgently needed supply is not lost.

In addition to temperature and condition monitoring, IoT supply chain management solutions can alert stakeholders to departure and arrival delays, route deviations, and more. This visibility ensures that vaccine shipments in transport are not lost, stolen, or sent to the wrong location, improving distribution efficiency.

Visibility and Reporting for Risk Management

The real-time visibility of IoT supply chain management enables stakeholders to take proactive action based on data. In addition to notifying of transport events as they happen, IoT supply chain management solutions provide the reporting and dashboards needed for better planning with actionable analytics, which is critical to developing comprehensive risk management plans for vaccine distribution.

Sophisticated IoT Supply Chain Management

KORE Critical Asset Monitoring (CAM) helps supply chain managers preserve, protect, and monitor important pharmaceutical shipments from source to their final destination. The CAM solution includes hardware, communications, cloud analytics, and reporting tools as a service that is ready to use, requiring no setup or infrastructure installation.

To learn more about how IoT supply chain management solutions like Critical Asset Monitoring can help mitigate risks, watch our on-demand webinar “IoT for Medical Supply Chain Visibility.”

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