Solving the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Challenge

A podcast series where we uncover the supply chain challenges present in the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Distribution of the vaccine by leveraging the existing cold chain network capacity is set to pose unprecedented challenges in the quest to making the vaccine available to every person in every country.


Latest episodes

E18: UNICEF on equitable distribution of vaccines

Jean-Cedric Meeus, the Chief of Global Transport at UNICEF. UNICEF plays a KEY role in ensuring that low income countries get access to vaccines and medicines.

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E17: Takeda VP on Dengue Vaccine Journey

This episode features Derek Wallace. Derek is the VP and Global Dengue Program head at Takeda.

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E16: NYC Chief Data Scientist on Emergency Response to COVID-19

This episode features Jaimie Shaffs. Jamie Shaffs is the Chief Data Scientist of the New York department of Health and Mental Hygiene as well as a member of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Task Force.

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E15: TED speaker Niels on Why the Future of the Hospital is your Home

This episode features Niels van Namen, who is an experienced Healthcare supply chain professional, entrepreneur and TED speaker.

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E14: Bill Keough on how Africa grapples with vaccine distribution

This episode features Bill Keough, Director of the Institute for Supply Chain Development (ISCD), which provides leading-edge supply chain training for health professionals working in low-resource environments.

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E13: FreightWaves CEO on vaccine distribution, and impact of the pandemic on the future of logistics

This episode features Craig Fuller, Founder & CEO, FreightWaves. FreightWaves is the leading publication in freight and brings data and analytics to the global $9.6tn industry.

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E12: US FDA on COVID19 vaccine approval at record speed

This episode features Peter Marks, Director, Director Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food & Drugs Administration. We’ve asked Peter some really important questions around how FDA has been giving vaccine approval at record speed.

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E11: Operation Warp Speed’s Notaristefani on Getting Every Last American Vaccinated

This episode features Carlo de Notaristefani, Lead Advisor Manufacturing & Supply Chain at Operation Warp Speed.Operation Warp Speed is a public–private partnership initiated by the US government to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

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E10: TagBox CEO on How Their Sensors Track Critical Supply Chains and Contact Tracing Efforts

This episode features Adarsh Kumar, CEO of TagBox.TagBox helps support track & trace for critical supply chains through the use of IoT sensing. The sensors they use have been developed in-house and are merely the size of a matchbox.

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E9: XPO President on Vaccine Distribution Challenges and Developments

This episode features Katrina Liddell, President Global Forwarding & Expedite, XPO Logistics. XPO is one of those unique providers that assist in vaccine deployment throughout the supply chain – right from the first mile to the last mile and so they bring a very well rounded and end to end perspective.

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E8: TASBIA CEO on Vaccine Scheduling & Appointment Challenges in USA

This episode features Cimarron Buser, Founder and CEO of The Appointment Scheduling & Booking Industry Association (TASBIA). Cimarron is an industry expert, and represents providers of appointment scheduling solutions. He appreciates the value--and the challenges--of using technology to help individuals schedule Covid-19 vaccination appointments.

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E7: COVID anniversary special: How a 75-yr old PPE company took charge during the crisis, while you were busy making Dalgona coffee

This episode features Julie Copeland, CEO of Arbill. They have been protecting workers for 75 years, focuses on saving lives every day through an array of PPE products including: hand protection, eye protection and disposable clothing and independently-tested cloth face masks.

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E6: Catherine Cooper on Constraints in the Existing Cold Chain and Building Resilient SC for the Future

This episode features Catherine Cooper - President & CEO of World Connections. They discuss effect of the pandemic on how boardrooms think about the need for resilient supply chains in the future.

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E5: Canada Last Mile Expert on Vaccine Distribution Challenges When Your Country Does Not Produce Domestically

This episode features Gary Newbury - an Interim Executive and a Last Mile Expert in Canada.With different pharma companies rolling out their respective vaccines consisting of various types of storage requirements, we talk to Gary about the developments in this space from a vaccine distribution.

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E4: StaTwig CEO on the role of blockchain and IoT in COVID-19 vaccine distribution in India

This episode features Sid Chakravarthy, CEO & Founder of StaTwig. StaTwig leverages emerging technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things and AI to create traceability of every single vial of vaccine along its journey.

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E3: Jim Tompkins on Effect of the COVID19 Pandemic on Global Supply Chains of the Future

We change gears in this episode and talk to Jim about how the pandemic is going to affect global supply chains of the future. This episode of The Vaccine Challenge features Jim Tompkins, Founder and Chairman of Tompkins International

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E2: DHL Express Germany, CEO on Vaccine Distribution Challenges and Developments

With different pharma companies rolling out their respective vaccines consisting of various types of storage requirements, we talk to Markus about the developments in this space from a vaccine distribution perspective and how DHL is contributing to this mega task.

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E1: UPS Germany CEO on Vaccine Distribution Challenges and Developments

Frank explains how UPS with other competition already knew the need for the healthcare industry and how logistics companies are handling the situation of post-pandemic demand. They follow up on their discussion of the logistics aspect of the circumstances.

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The hardest problem in supply chain, ever.

The world must undertake the most logistically difficult vaccination campaign in history, with a hesitant and weary public, and at least one vaccine with unprecedented storage requirements.

The cause for optimism is real – but so are the logistical challenges that lie ahead.

cold chain required to keep vaccine potent
vaccines to be delivered in the Q1 2021
total spend on vaccine distribution

Who are we talking to?

1Logisitcs Providers

They contribute to the discussion by:

  • show-casing the strategy of distribution
  • talking about the bottlenecks and challenges they face
  • the opportunities that come with solving these problems
  • the lessons learnt here that are transferrable to other industries
2Pharma Executives

They contribute to the discussion by:

  • discussing the challenges faced in production
  • about how the covid-19 vaccine stands out from others
  • the human stories and the lives they are touching by producing these vaccines
3Healthcare Providers

They contribute to the discussion by:

  • discussing their plan of action to rollout the vaccine
  • talking about the problems they have been facing
  • how this vaccine drive relates to the other vaccine drives of the past
  • the tech that is enabling them to disseminate the vaccine
4Research Scientists and Academics

They contribute to the discussion by:

  • providing an expert lens to talk about these vaccines
  • talking about their research and insights they have on the whole process
  • the lessons learnt from previous pandemics
5Policy Makers

They contribute to the discussion by:

  • providing an authoritative take on the decisions made
  • a bird's eye view of the whole ditribution process
  • the challenges they are facing and how they are being tackled

Why does The Vaccine Challenge exist?

There is significant knowledge-gap when it comes to the supply chain and distribution initiatives within respect to the COVID-19 vaccine, because much of the work is happening behind closed doors.

We want to help catalyse the process by making all possible information available to others working towards a collective goal as well as those that are interested to understand the difficulties associated with this Herculean task.

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