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A decision support framework for optimal vaccine distribution across a multi-tier cold chain network
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321996
ABSTRACT
The importance of vaccination and the logistics involved in the procurement, storage and distribution of vaccines across their cold chain has come to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we present a decision support framework for optimizing multiple aspects of vaccine distribution across a multi-tier cold chain network. We propose two multi-period optimization formulations within this framework first to minimize inventory, ordering, transportation, personnel and shortage costs associated with a single vaccine;the second being an extension of the first for the case when multiple vaccines with differing efficacies and costs are available for the same disease. Vaccine transportation and administration lead times are also incorporated within the models. We use the case of the Indian state of Bihar and COVID-19 vaccines to illustrate the implementation of the framework. We present computational experiments to demonstrate (a) the organization of the model outputs;(b) how the models can be used to assess the impact of storage capacities (at the cold chain points, transportation vehicle capacities) and manufacturer capacities on the optimal vaccine distribution pattern;and (c) the impact of vaccine efficacies and associated costs such as ordering and transportation costs on the vaccine selection decision informed by the model. We then consider the computational expense of the framework for realistic problem instances, and suggest multiple preprocessing techniques to reduce their computational burden. Our study presents public health authorities and other stakeholders with a vaccine distribution and capacity planning tool for multi-tier cold chain networks.
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Collection: Preprints Database: EuropePMC Type of study: Prognostic study Topics: Vaccines Language: English Year: 2021 Document Type: Preprint

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Collection: Preprints Database: EuropePMC Type of study: Prognostic study Topics: Vaccines Language: English Year: 2021 Document Type: Preprint