TechNet-21 - Forum

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  1. Optimize.WHO
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. Wednesday, 24 February 2010
AVI initiative confronts supply chain shortcomingsby Stefano Malvolti, PATH, and Souleymane Kone, WHO The Accelerated Vaccine Introduction (AVI) initiative will see the first wave of pneumococcal vaccines entering up to 15 GAVI Alliance-approved countries in 2010. Another 11 countries are expected to follow suit in the next year. While some countries already have cold chain capacity for the new vaccine, independent assessments have revealed that some countries do not yet have capacity at all levels, and their introduction schedule could be delayed until they are ready. In an attempt to minimize any delays that would prevent children from receiving this important vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with countries to help them address and overcome short-term cold chain capacity issues. Some creative strategies include increasing the frequency of shipments to the country so that stockpiles do not overwhelm national vaccine stores. Another strategy is to bypass certain levels in the supply chain altogether. For example, if a national store lacks physical storage capacity, then the vaccines could be shipped directly to subnational stores and be disseminated to health centers upon arrival. While these are stop-gap measures, WHO is also working with countries to understand future introduction plans and support supply chain capacity improvements for longer-term objectives. This work, in conjunction with the work of the United Nations Children’s Fund’s Cold Chain and Logistics Taskforce to more assertively test a country’s readiness for new vaccines, will help AVI and the GAVI Alliance avoid delays in future rounds of new vaccine introduction. In the long run Project Optimize is also working to expand the number of proven tools and policies to make supply chain systems efficient and responsive enough to not only withstand but actually enable the introduction of new technologies in the future. We invite you to comment on or post a question relating to this article by clicking the "post reply" button on this page. You will have to log in or register; the process is very simple. Return to the Optimize newsletter.

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