Fixing the COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Scheduling Problem

Fixing the COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Scheduling Problem

March 5, 2021

 

Frustrated about not having an appointment yet? You have company!

Millions of people have been trying to secure an appointment, and the process is both unnerving and confusing. Demand greatly outstrips supply, which calls for a well-organized system. Unfortunately, in several states, people rush to secure scarce appointments online, either causing the systems to crash or forcing them to refresh their screens continuously until a new appointment opens up. Yet, some states lead in vaccination rates thanks to efficient, one-stop pre-registration systems and coordination with vaccination providers.

 


Video Spotlight: One-Stop, Pre-Registration Site in New Mexico


This post is based on The Conversation article, How to Really Fix COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Scheduling, by T. Dai, February 22, 2021, and the YouTube video, Covid-19 Vaccine Trackers Show New Mexico Rollout Among the Fastest , by KRQE, January 21, 2021. Image source: Rawpixel.com / Sutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the factors contributing to people’s anxiety about securing an appointment?

Guidance: The factors listed in the article include: 1) the high demand relative to supply, 2) the lack of efficient, one-stop pre-registration in many states, and 3) the existence of multiple vaccination providers, each with its own Continue reading

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Dock-to-Arm: A Tricky Challenge for the Coronavirus Vaccine

Dock-to-Arm: A Tricky Challenge for the Coronavirus Vaccine

 

We have three promising vaccines. Now the challenge is to distribute them to the masses.

Public health officials and health systems around the world are gearing up for the distribution of the vaccines to their populations. There are opportunities for error at every step of the distribution process, from transportation of the Pfizer vaccine at extremely cold temperatures to final distribution in remote or rural areas. This massive undertaking is going to require synchronized efforts among many different parties. Success will depend on seamless coordination and trust.

 


Video Spotlight: The Race to Move a Cold Chain Vaccine to the Masses


This post is based on The Washington Post article, Now Comes the Hardest Part: Getting a Coronavirus Vaccine from Loading Dock to Upper Arm, by L.H. Sun and F. Stead Sellers, November 23, 2020, and the YouTube video, Inside the Cold, Complex World of Getting a Covid-19 Vaccine into Arms, by The Washington Post, November 24, 2020. Image source: LightField Studios / Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the challenges posed by this colossal distribution effort?

Guidance: There are many challenges associated with this effort. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept Continue reading

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The Rebirth of Ice Cream Deliveries

The Rebirth of Ice Cream Deliveries

In the early 1900s, salespeople delivered Wall’s ice cream on tricycles. Today, the concept is resurrected.

Thomas Wall started selling ice cream as a seasonal product designed to offset slumping sausage sales during the summer. Lever Brothers bought Wall’s company; it later merged with Maragarine Unie to become Unilever, a multinational corporation now known as the “king of ice cream.”  Sold in 63 countries, its ice cream brand portfolio now accounts for 19% of the global market. In 2020, as the pandemic lingered on and people spent more time at home, the company brought back the old concept of delivering ice cream on wheels, but this time directly to consumers’ homes. The company constantly innovates. Nevertheless, uncertainty about future lockdowns in 2021 makes the next big idea a little elusive.


Video Spotlight: How a Viennetta Is Made


This post is based on the CNN article, This Company Conquered the Ice Cream Market. Home Delivery Is the Final Frontier, by H. Ziadi, November 14, 2020, and the YouTube video, How a Viennetta Is Made, by d100965, November 17, 2013. Image source: M. Unal Ozmen / Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Describe the evolution of ice Continue reading

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