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Protecting the Supply Chain: Transporting the Most Important Commodity in the World - The COVID-19 Vaccine
February 16, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Sees Worldwide Challenges
COVID-19 has plagued thousands of healthcare and long-term healthcare workers, and with the arrival of a vaccine in North America, it is the first small glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccines themselves require careful, ultra cold-storage, delicate handling, and meticulous coordination to get shots into the right people as efficiently as possible. Logistically, the vaccine will present multiple challenges and will demand physical security, tracking, and protection.
The supply chain and vaccine has already been a target for theft and sabotage. As the world awaits the end of the pandemic, many misguided ideologies and opinions threaten the safe rollout that could mean even more lives lost to the pandemic.
COVID-19 Supply Chain a Likely Target of Crime and Sabotage
The existence of a vaccine has created optimism among politicians and the general public. The transportation and safe-keeping of the vaccine has been a growing discussion as it could potentially put an end to the pandemic. Lost in the discussion are the logistical challenges many government agencies and healthcare facilities are facing, as properly distributing the vaccine to those who need it most has proven to be increasingly complex.
The vaccine itself has been a target for sabotage, conspiracy theorists, and online hackers who aim to disrupt the process. Logistically, it has proven to be more difficult than expected as vaccine candidates require two shots across two weeks. The vaccine distribution will require massive coordination efforts to complete the process successfully, and third-party vendors who specialize in these types of challenges will be necessary.
Conspiracy Theorists Are Against COVID-19 Vaccination
Just as the rollout began in late December, a pharmacist in Wisconsin who received a shipment of the vaccine believed the doses would cause harm. The pharmacist, who admitted he was a self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist, left hundreds of doses of the vaccine outside of cold-storage to intentionally spoil it. This incident only further reaffirmed the importance of protecting the vaccine as the rollout is expected to continue well into the Spring and Summer months.
North American perceptions of the vaccine continue to be mixed, and conspiracy theories have seeped into the minds of the general public, suggesting that vaccination against COVID-19 could somehow cause great harm to an individual’s DNA. As governments continue their vaccination programs, efforts to vaccinate the general public are expected to cause unrest among those who wish to politicize the vaccine and encourage others that the vaccine is not safe. The public rollout will likely solicit efforts of vandalism, protesting, and possible violence.
Securing the Safety and Integrity of the COVID-19 Vaccine
Those who play a key role in the vaccine’s distribution, from truck drivers, handlers, and healthcare workers, could face potential risks as the rollout continues. Online threats, efforts of sabotage, and possible violence are all hazards that each member of the supply chain faces.
Continued security will be a necessary part of a successful vaccination program to ensure the safety of the many moving parts of the process. Vaccination rollouts are still in their early stages and will likely see continued challenges in the form of protests and online campaigns to discredit its integrity. Government agencies will need to work in concert with logistics specialists to ensure the vaccine’s safe delivery and ultimately put an end to the pandemic.
Supply Chain Management and Security Services for the COVID-19 Vaccine
ISB Global Services specializes in supply chain management and security, allowing distributors to track, trace, and monitor every element of a supply chain. ISB offers PULSE, a comprehensive suite of cargo loss prevention and supply chain security products and services designed to reduce risk exposure and mitigate cargo crime losses.
Services are available by a la carte selection to suit an organization’s needs and requirements. Contact us directly to learn more about available services to secure your supply chain and ensure the safe rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.