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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Pfizer’s Massive Vaccine Cold Chain

Pfizer’s Massive Vaccine Cold Chain

December 10, 2020

Pfizer is building an ambitious supply chain and distribution system to deliver hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine to vaccination sites in three days.

The vaccine is manufactured in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Puurs, Belgium at a rate of 7.6 million doses daily.  Shipping containers that can keep the loaded doses at a temperature of -100 Fahrenheit for up to 10 days are used to transport doses from the manufacturing sites to nearby airports as cargo on planes from FedEx, UPS, and DHL.

These carriers are also responsible for trucking doses from airports to vaccination sites such as hospitals.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Fierce Pharma article, Planes, trucks and ultracold boxes: Pfizer preps massive COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort, by Eric Sagonowsky, October 21, 2020; the NPR article, Why Does Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Need To Be Kept Colder Than Antarctica?, by Selena Simmons-Duffin, November 17, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Wright Studio/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. Is Pfizer’s vaccine supply chain transparent?  Explain.

Guidance: Pfizer’s vaccine supply chain has Continue reading

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Walmart Benchmarked Airports for Its Overhaul

Walmart Benchmarked Airports for Its Overhaul

November 30, 2020

Walmart will debut a new design in 200 of its Supercenters by year’s end.

Inspired by airport design and seeking to integrate a more digitally enabled shopping experience, the stores will include new technology, layout and signage. The goal is to seek a balance between customers who enjoy the technological enhancements of online/mobile shopping channels and those still enjoy the experience of browsing in-store.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Business Insider article, Walmart is overhauling 200 of its stores into an airport-inspired theme expected to perfectly blend the online and in-store shopping experience, by Aine Cain, September 29, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: John Flournoy/McGraw-Hill Education

Discussion Questions:

1. How did Walmart engage in competitive benchmarking?

Guidance: Benchmarking is a quality management tool that involves finding a company or type of business that does something especially well and learning its best practices.  In this case, Walmart’s signage was inspired by airports, which excel in wayfinding Continue reading

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