Converting vaccines into vaccinations

19 February 2021

Converting vaccines into vaccinations

Solving the ‘last mile’ of vaccine delivery is the biggest workflow challenge ever

Vaccinating the world’s population against the novel coronavirus is a daunting task. Converting vaccines into vaccinations is one of the biggest logistical challenges that humanity has ever faced. And it’s perhaps the most significant workflow challenge of our lifetime.

Vaccine delivery is a classic “last mile” problem. Scientists developed effective COVID-19 vaccines in less than a year, compared to eight years or more for standard drug development. That’s an amazing feat, but even the best vaccine is useless if you can’t close that last-mile gap by administering it quickly, safely, and at scale for people.

Here’s the maths. To defeat COVID-19 we need to vaccinate 7.8 billion people—twice. That’s 15.6 billion doses globally. In order to complete this job in a year, we’ll need to stick 43 million arms a day worldwide. Even if we assume only 75% of the global population gets vaccinated, the volume of vaccinations will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

While healthcare professionals know how to run vaccine programs, they’ve never had to deliver multi-dose vaccinations for the entire human race while managing limited supplies and a rolling schedule of prioritised populations based on risk. All this in a crisis environment where COVID-19 has already killed more than 2 million people and disrupted every nation on earth.

Workflow it

Digital workflows can help solve the challenges of vaccine administration. Vaccine delivery is a workflow—a process with clear steps—just like employee service delivery or customer service management. Cutting-edge science gave us effective vaccines in record time. Now we need to deploy innovative technology and leading workflow solutions to effectively vaccinate people everywhere. ServiceNow is doing our part, harnessing the power of the Now Platform to give vaccine administrators the scale, speed, and flexibility required to get people protected.

[Read also: There’s a better, faster way to distribute vaccines]

Too many of our customers in the healthcare space told us they were using spreadsheets to track who received the vaccines, at which location, and when they were due to receive the required second dose. Others said they were keeping hard copy records of vaccine storage information. Such manual processes slow vaccine delivery. And they aren’t necessary.

With ServiceNow’s Vaccine Administration Management solution, we have digitized these processes and more. 

Digital workflow solutions on the Now Platform are helping government agencies and other organisations globally with the scale, speed, and flexibility needed to help the world get vaccinated quickly. NHS Scotland and the State of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) are among the more than 100 organisations currently working with ServiceNow on their vaccine management efforts.

NHS Scotland has developed custom workflow solutions on the Now Platform to support their goal of vaccinating 5.5 million citizens within three months.

NCDHHS is using the Now Platform to power its COVID Vaccine Management Help Desk Portal. Healthcare providers, clinicians, and NCDHHS staff are using the portal to access the latest information related to state vaccine requirements and get their vaccine-related questions answered.

ServiceNow Vaccine Administration Management delivers a modern, self-service experience across desktop and mobile devices. It connects patient engagement with back-end inventory systems so organisations can easily schedule appointments and send reminders, notify patients when more COVID-19 vaccines are available, and communicate when a new segment of the population is being prioritized for the vaccination.

Step by step

Since the pandemic began, we at ServiceNow have been responding with digital workflow solutions that help enterprises navigate the crisis. Vaccine management solutions are a part of our broader efforts to support customers and organizations as they fight COVID-19.

For example, our Safe Workplace suite, which helps organisations gauge workforce and workplace readiness as they look to safely return employees to the workplace, has nearly 10,000 unique installations to date.

ServiceNow is committed to helping our customers manage the unique, evolving challenges presented by the pandemic. Together we will beat this terrible disease and emerge stronger on the other side.


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