GCRF_NF55 Fast-track vaccine cold-chain assessment and design for mass scale COVID-19 vaccination in Bangladesh (VaCoBD)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Chemical Engineering

Abstract

Universal vaccine access is an existing major challenge in low-income countries, mainly due to the lack of robust cold-chains, resulting in loss of potency for +25% of vaccines. Mass vaccination for COVID-19 globally will require a new fast-track approach to assess, re-engineer and build upon available cold-chain logistics assets and systems, to deliver the vaccines at scale and speed never before considered. We aim to evaluate the capacity and preparedness of the cold-chain framework of Bangladesh as a case study country for mass scale COVID-19 vaccination, and assist the policymakers in defining optimised, sustainable interventions and lasting legacy opportunities. Our objectives are: (1) evaluating the context and resilience of cold-chains and resources in Bangladesh, collecting primary data for a robust assessment of the cold chain capacity and gaps; (2) developing a bottom-up whole systems approach building upon existing logistics infrastructure, and distribution systems for mass scale COVID-19 vaccination including modal shifts; (3) developing a cost-benefit analysis framework for the bottom-up (vaccine) systems model; (4) assessing different intervention scenarios for mass-scale COVID-19 vaccination preparedness, and helping shape the country's immunisation strategies and priorities; (5) informing policymakers and other key stakeholders, including Monetary Financial Institutions about the cost-effective intervention alternatives for cold-chain development for mass-scale vaccination for COVID-19, which may be useful for future emergency or disasters; and (6) disseminating learnings to other countries, including methodology, to assess their requirements and to simulate best options for creating sustainable temperature-controlled supply-chains for health and medical supplies in epidemics and natural disasters.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The award is still active. However, work on Work Package 1 focusing on primary data collection of regional and national cold-chain data, current logistics, end-point management and delivery capabilities, cold-chain demand for mass vaccination to first and last mile/point of use have led to significant knowledge being generated and a deeper understanding of the data gaps to address cold-chains to deliver Covid-19 mass vaccination in Bangladesh. This will contribute towards the other work packages
Exploitation Route The outcomes and learnings will be disseminated to other countries, including methodology, to assess their requirements and to simulate best options for creating sustainable temperature-controlled supply-chains for health and medical supplies in epidemics and natural disasters.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy,Healthcare,Transport

 
Description The reports and outputs and our methodologies are being used by multi-national Agencies to plan their covid-19 response. We are also transferring knowledge to other projects - for example in Africa, the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-chain. We are supporting NGOs and private sector groups in plannign covid-19 immunisation strategies.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Energy,Transport,Other
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Presentation on 'Understanding cold-chain challenges for COVID-19 vaccination' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Bing XU and Dr Xinfang Wang made a presentation at the 12th International Conference on Applied Energy around the challenges of vaccine cold-chains and more specifically around Covid-19.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Webinar on 'The COVID-19 vaccine supply chain: Overcoming the challenges and complexities' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The webinar was delivered to an audience comprising mainly of businesses to outline the complex journey of manufacturing a vaccine and explore the challenges in the cold chain logistics needed to deliver it. Prof Peters Toby Peters' talk focused on the distribution from factory door to patient, and the challenges inherent to keeping the vaccine at 2-8°C throughout - or at even lower temperatures as is the case with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The webinar encouraged the audience to better understand, amongst other things, the impacts of complex manufacturing, geographical location, scale of distribution as dependent on country government choices of vaccination programmes and data management to adequately track products in the supply chain.
This was followed by a question/answer session and a healthy discussion around the topic from those attending.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://events.imeche.org/ViewEvent?code=TLE7231
 
Description Webinar on 'Understanding the Cold-chain challenge for a COVID-19 vaccine' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The webinar organised by the British High Commission in collaboration with UNICEF, WHO, Ministry of Health of Bangladesh, the University of Birmingham and BRAC University, 19 Nov 2020 (Toby Peters, Farzana Munshi, Ijaz Hossain). The purpose was to reach an audience of policy makers within Bangladesh, highlight the challenges of delivering vaccines in Bangladesh specific to Covid-19 and to raise awareness of the cold-chain infrastructure requirement for successful and rapid delivery of vaccines in-country.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.facebook.com/BRACUniversity/posts/the-british-high-commission-in-bangladesh-in-collabora...
 
Description Workshop on 'Fast-track vaccine cold-chain assessment and design for mass scale COVID-19 vaccination in Bangladesh' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Prof Peters and Dr Bing Xu presented this project to the audience and spoke about the objectives and how the outcomes from this project will be used to feed in to policy around vaccination cold-chains in Bangladesh and how the learnings can be disseminated to other countries to create sustainable temperature-controlled supply-chains for health and
medical supplies in epidemics and natural disasters.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020