How governments, NGOs, and the private sector came together in the wake of COVID-19 to make a massive, life-saving project reality.
After the planet was hit by a pandemic, the race to create the COVID-19 vaccine began. But this was only part of the battle. With growing numbers of fatalities and economies struggling, the importance for quick distribution was increasingly vital. Whatever the approach, the size of the task was huge. To deliver one billion doses would take 8,000 fully loaded cargo planes. When you add into the equation that several wealthier countries were overordering and there were storage restrictions for keeping the vaccine cool, how do you even begin to immunize the world?
There were many complications to overcome, and to do so, the world needed to unite. Governments, airlines, logistic companies, health officials, volunteers, and many more joined seamlessly to manage this multi-layered, multi-party project. After the vaccine was manufactured, approved, and allocated, it was stored in containers filled with dry ice. The vaccine was then shipped to distribution centers before going to administration sites. Behind this whole operation were tracking systems, which helped support allocation, ordering, uptake, and management. This included GPS-enabled thermal sensors to track the location and temperature of each vaccine shipment.
A Vision and a Mission
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This was a plight which the world had never seen before. It was bigger than anyone expected. But by effectively managing every integral part of the project, without losing sight of the overall impact, it was an effort that was made reality.
The first federally approved vaccinations were delivered to the US on December 14, and within 5 months, 280 million doses had been administered worldwide. Now, a monitoring stage is in process to examine any effects of the vaccine while also being ready to adapt it, depending on the possible arrival of new strains.
Despite the challenges and huge losses, the reaction to COVID-19 has shown that with collaboration, smart thinking, clever project management, and perseverance we can tackle one of the biggest struggles humanity has ever faced. After all, we’ve seen the world come together and turn around a massive project to make vaccinations for all a reality.