Pulse

Partnering through the pandemic

Ajitkumar Sudke |Yonette Thomas | Updated on: Jun 23, 2022
Ajitkumar Sudke

Ajitkumar Sudke

Several private sector initiatives help in accelerating vaccine life cycle

The Covid-19 pandemic triggered innovation not just in vaccine development, but in global supply chains and last-mile vaccine delivery, as well. Donors, governments, bilateral and multilateral organisations, academia, scientists and the private sector fostered partnerships to accelerate the vaccine life cycle.

The Global South, for instance, saw several interesting private sector initiatives. India saw donors working closely with the Serum Institute of India, to accelerate vaccine production. Vaccine-makers Bharat Biotech and Biological E too played their part in developing safe and efficient vaccines.

Yonette Thomas

Yonette Thomas

In the African region that produces only one per cent of its total vaccine requirement - BioVac partnered with the South African government to produce Covid-19 vaccines, addressing their public health need. B Medical Systems developed new products and optimised existing solutions for storing and transporting vaccines at temperatures ranging from minus 86 degrees Celsius to eight degrees Celsius in over 100 countries. They developed power sources for vaccine storage and transport. The Vaccine Vial Monitor innovation is the product of another partnership, with Temptime specialising in making Vaccine Vial Monitors.

India’s Co-WIN platform, which helps in monitoring vaccine registrations and deployment, became a benchmark of sorts, with other countries showing interest in having similar systems.

In the South East Asian region, B-Box (Brilliant Box), developed by DKSH Group, ensured that large volumes of vaccines reached patients; a USAID-India initiative along with other partners, worked with local governments, Vaccine on Wheels, and the American Chamber of Commerce in India to get local influencers of communities to motivate people to get vaccinated at their doorstep through the mobile van clinics. They have administered one million-plus vaccinations in 100 days and counting. Doctor-based Mobile Vaccination Clinics have a huge potential in the future too, as it reduces travel costs and travel time. The DayBest Research Private Limited, along with the Indian Council of Medical Research delivered over 17,000 units of vaccines to the terrains of Northeast India using drones.

The pandemic has shown that partnerships have worked. Learnings from the Covid-19 vaccination programme can be replicated in routine immunisation programmes as well. And, the private sector could be included in these steps to transform the health system.

(Dr Thomas is a social epidemiologist and Chief Executive Officer of UrbanHealth360; Dr Sudke is the Director of Programs, at Population Services International. Views are personal.)

Published on June 26, 2022
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