Tech and Data Can Serve As the Backbone for Vaccine Distribution

Shutterstock/Monstar Studio

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

COMMENTARY | Technology and data will need to play a pivotal role for state and local governments’ Covid-19 vaccination distribution programs.

The long-awaited Covid-19 vaccine has arrived. As of now, three pharmaceutical companies—Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca—have announced that their vaccines are anywhere from 70 and 95% effective. And with the approval of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the U.S. is now embarking on the largest vaccination distribution campaign in history. As it did for keeping individuals safe throughout the pandemic, technology and data will need to be leveraged in order to ensure distribution plans are on track and successful. But in this unprecedented time, state and local governments are struggling to understand what technology is actually needed to create a safe and efficient distribution pipeline. They also need to understand what data is necessary to collect and how to keep it safe. And all of these solutions need to be implemented in a timely manner so that state and local governments can quickly and safely distribute the vaccine.

Third-Party Vendor Considerations

There are major time constraints for getting the infrastructure in place to support the vaccine distribution. This means that health care and government organizations will need to rely on existing technology infrastructure and solutions instead of building out their own platforms. Similarly, this means working with existing technology vendors through RFP processes known to take weeks or months to get new projects approved. In our current situation, speed is pivotal. Finding a balance between speed and process is extremely important at this time. Governments should consider ways to avoid lengthy RFPs so that the technology is in place for the distribution. This could mean entering a pilot program agreement or looking at direct sales—anything that will allow the technology to be implemented in a timely fashion. Consider trusted vendors that have experience working with government organizations and understand the security requirements.

Technology Implementation

The technology that governments choose to implement needs to be able to manage the flow of traffic and vaccine appointments in health care facilities. The health care system is already overwhelmed with patients sick from Covid-19. Adding an onslaught of patients needing vaccines to busy hospitals that are already under strain could cause many issues. Vaccine distribution needs to consider how to keep everyone safe by managing the flow of traffic in these facilities. Integrating appointment management solutions where patients can wait at a safe distance will help keep clinics safe and running smoothly during the distribution phase. It will also help them manage the distribution of the vaccines alongside the need of other healthcare services. 

Data Collection

With so many different distribution phases and vaccines, governments will need to collect patient data to keep track of who has been vaccinated, who needs a booster shot if receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and who still needs the vaccine. This will be critical information when it comes to ordering vaccine doses and moving through each phase, but also to monitor the needs of healthcare providers.

State and local governments need to track the number of people in each phase of the distribution plan to ensure that they are properly supporting the healthcare industry. They also need to track who will be receiving each vaccine, as the requirements are different between the shots created by the different companies. If necessary, they need to have plans in place that determine the priority of health care. If the industry is short staffed or lacking resources, what services will be prioritized?

Health care data is extremely confidential, which means that it’s at a higher risk for security breaches and data hacks. Although this data will be important to collect, it will be equally important to keep it secure and encrypted to avoid potential breaches. When working with third-party vendors, it’s crucial that state and local governments understand what data is being collected, the practices in place to keep the data safe and protected from potential breaches.  Governments should have a data security plan established and ensure that any third-party vendors or industries that are collecting important personal data are following these protocols.

Next Steps for Governments

The Covid vaccination process is expected to last for an extended period of time and the end of the pandemic is still far from reality, despite the hope that the vaccines bring. Governments need to prepare quickly for the start of the distribution process, yet they also need to implement solutions that will work long-term. Technology and data collection will prove to be the backbone of any good distribution plan, as it will allow for governments to remain organized and keep citizens safe.

Kevin Grauman is the president and CEO of QLess, a line management system used by retail, education and government industries. He is no stranger to the world of startups, with a proven track record as a successful U.S.-based executive leader and entrepreneur.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
Budgeting for Climate: The City of Pittsburgh Repurposes Resources for a Sustainable Future
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Integrated city systems, unified data, & automation drive 316% increase in field efficiency
Seattle, WA, USA
Expanding broadband access with small cell deployment in City of Ontario
Ontario, CA, USA

NEXT STORY: Biden Reveals White House Digital Team

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.