Using tools of economics to optimise Covid vaccine coverage

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 07, 2021

IIHMR University and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health collaborate for research

Researchers and health professionals have taken up research studies on the economic aspect of Covid-19 vaccination programmes in India and across the globe, for optimum use of scarce resources.

Jaipur-based IIHMR University and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, US, have collaborated for capacity building of health professionals to undertake research in this crucial area, which weighs on the finances, in India, and countries all around the world.

Online courses

The two institutes jointly designed two online courses for vaccine policymakers and programme managers to use the tools of economics to optimise vaccine coverage amidst Covid challenges.

The course participants were engaged in online learning sessions, workshops on vaccine demand and cost analysis for vaccine delivery to discuss key problems and their economic solutions, and finally developed research proposals.

Speaking to BusinessLine, PR Sodani, President (Officiating), IIHMR University, Jaipur, said the course focused on the cost and cost-related components for Covid vaccination; the vaccine distribution design and how the vaccine be delivered at district and below level.

“This will help in assessing the additional financial burden on administration for vaccination. Another crucial aspect under consideration was the supply chain,” said Sodani, adding that globally the programme received 400 applications out of whom 230 participants were short-listed.

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For the India programme, 64 applications were received, of whom 53 participants were selected to attend the global online programme, which began in October 2020 and concluded in December 2020. The participants were from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Somalia.

Financial support

“When we started the course, it was not on the agenda to have such research proposals for cost and demand for Covid-19 vaccination. Because we did not have the financial allocation for that. But meanwhile, Johns Hopkins could attract small additional financial support for the proposals for research on this subject,” he added.

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“In some time, the proposals will be reviewed and finalised. Since the results are required very soon, the selected proposals will be announced very soon,” he said.

“Once we have the research studies and findings, we will have a better understanding of the demand and cost issues. Meanwhile, we will also have a better idea of what is happening in the other countries too,” he said.

Published on January 07, 2021

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