COVID-19 Vaccine

RFID Technology Helps to Manage COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

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Finally! The long-drawn wait is over for the covid-19 vaccine to resolve the black swan event which has risen for the past some time. After the continuous day-night efforts by medical experts, the answer to the question “when the covid-19 vaccine will come” has been answered. The covid-19 vaccine is now available but the bigger question now arrives “how to distribute it around the world?”

RFID: Radio Frequency Identification

It is a technology that works on radio frequencies or radio waves. This technology is used to track and identify the objects automatically at an ease. RFID technology is not just used on objects but can also be used on animals as well as on birds. The object that the RFID reader needs to track will be attached with the RFID tag, Rfid reader continuously sends radio waves whenever the object with the RFID tag comes in the distance meter the RFID tag will transmit its feedback to the RFID reader.

RFID technology is similar to barcode but in the case of a barcode reader, the object and the reader need to be in a line of sight. Rfid technology is not a line of sight technology as far as the object is in the range of the reader the object will able to transmit its feedback to the reader.

Distribution of Covid-19 Vaccine

“A common technology takes on an uncommon mission: Distributing vaccines around the globe.”

An essential and readily deployable tool to verify temperature consistency has been RFID. The newly FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have surely made a relive in the world of vaccines. Hospitals need to kingpin the storage facility for temperamental vaccine presentation, transmute their hospitals into vaccination centers, and be adequately stocked with the vaccines themselves. The stumbling block of shipping, storing, handling, and distributing vaccines is the different storage requirements from various pharma companies working on the same making the process complicated.

Radiofrequency identification technology helping to track the status of every vial that is removed from an ultra-freezer—a unit that stores goods at temperatures of -40 degrees to -86 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees to -123 degrees Fahrenheit)—then is placed in refrigeration, transported to the vaccination clinic to be administered, and sometimes returned to refrigeration, all while ensuring no vial expires before reaching a patient’s arm.

How the technology could be used to digitize vaccine management –

Technology is the biggest reason for today’s modernization especially when it comes to RFID there is plenty of benefits it can provide to healthcare providers.

digitize vaccine

  • The RFID technology will be a game-changer as it enables the hospitals a proper count of vials in the refrigerator. Also, it enables to monitor expiration dates if any.
  • The data collected will be stored in cloud-based software which enables the hospitals to view and analyze the reading information.
  • Avoiding the patients to be mistakenly administered will be attainable as the system will identify any vial that has reached its BUD cutoff each time the tag is read.
  • The use of RFID technology enables the hospital to avoid the use of paper-based records which could be easily damaged or changed. The RFID-based management system will make the process faster with lower risks of the data being lost.

Process of vaccine administration with RFID

  • Vaccines will be set out for few minutes to warm up after it is removed from the freezer, In order to start the five-day beyond-use-dating (BUD) countdown the technician then wipes each vial dry and applies the pre-production, lot-specific RFID labels, one on each vial,
  • Before the vials are moved to the pharmacy refrigerator to maintain a PAR of 120 vials the tagged vials are scanned, the BUD expiration clock is set ‘ticking’ to show how many days the vials can be left out of the freezer before they expire.”
  • The pharmacy created a vaccine kit with an anesthesia drawer liner with the set PAR of 120 vials that remains in the refrigerator and will  be refilled at the end of each day.
  • When vaccines leave the central pharmacy from the refrigerator, they will be scanned at the reader station to ensure every vial is still viable, and that it hasn’t passed the five-day BUD expiration time. The scanning station, known as the Blue Box, captures the tag reads of vials stored on trays.
  • The RFID reader will be incorporated into the base of the station. As a user opens and then closes the door, the station will scan the RFID tags, and the trays will be read as they leave for the clinic. At the end of the day, the vaccine transport box will return to the central pharmacy, and the box of vaccines will be placed in the RFID reader station compartment to be scanned again. Before returning to the refrigerator the RFID tags on all remaining vaccine vials are interrogated, the remaining time before expiration is displayed.
  • The workflow for Moderna’s vaccines is less labor-intensive than for the Pfizer vaccines. Storage and administration of Moderna drugs will also be tracked via RFID technology.
  • Getting every vial to patients is of the utmost importance to our communities. To make more people vaccinated and give massive reach to the covid-19 vaccine RFID is poised to be a real solution to vaccine-tracking problems because it provides item-level visibility of every vial and makes counts more accurate.

Things governments need to think about to support vaccine distribution

vaccine distribution

Make product integrity a top priority

To avoid any kind of confusion about what is a vaccine shipment The World Health Organization (WHO) should publish an official list of all approved vaccines with universal product IDs, while the World Customs Organization (WCO) should provide a standard classification (HS-6) for COVID-19 vaccines.

To prevent counterfeit manufacturing countries should issue classification rulings for vaccine products in advance, for other countries to recognize.

Optimization of logistics

Air-cargo will play an important role in the transportation of the covid-19 vaccine to make it reachable for masses. Air cargo operators should be pre-authorized to fly several thousand additional flights. Cargo flights should be approved expeditiously for the permit for landing, overnight, and airport slots such as night-time flights. Air cargo crews themselves need to be able to travel, as outlined in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO)

In addition, governments must facilitate cross-border road haulage and open dedicated lanes at land crossings. To limit interruptions in vaccine transport, border requirements need to be simplified. Vaccines transiting one country on the way to the next should be unimpeded, while police, military, and other security services should refrain from stopping vaccine transports at inland checkpoints.

Temperature-controlled supply chain

Certain vaccines may need to be kept deeply refrigerated, some as low as -70 C. Temperature-controlled facilities for the priority storage of vaccines should be made available or, if necessary, rapidly developed. As dry-ice may be needed during shipment, this requires special dangerous goods procedures.

Vaccine manufacturers and shippers who plan to use RFID or GPS data loggers to ensure the integrity of the supply chain, need to approve these devices with their supply chain partners in advance.

Governments should publish guidance for vaccine shippers to ensure they are prepared for requirements such as compliance with the classification of genetically modified organisms (UN3245) to avoid transporters needing to reject shipments. Ideally, audit processes would be used for compliance, rather than requiring individual acceptance of every shipment.

Gridlock at the border should be avoided at crunch time

For the fast border clearance and to avoid the tailback government must streamline and standardize trade requirements. The importance of electronic records, e- payments, and digital risk management is well demonstrated at the earliest stages of the pandemic.

Covid-19 vaccines should be cleared before their physical arrival at the border and exempt from import duties. The same standard (WCO) dataset should work for both export and import clearance.

Recognizing, in particular, the temperature-sensitive nature of some vaccines, physical examinations should be carried out only on a risk-basis and only at appropriate storage facilities, such as at the end-user. Given the specific transport equipment needed for the safe transport of vaccines (such as temperature-controlled containers), these should clear inbound and outbound based on the transport manifest and be exempt from duty and bond/guarantee requirements for temporary admission and return.

Cooperation among each individual is essential

Since it is not an ordinary operation, expectations are way too high thus issues need to be addressed urgently through cooperation between regulators and the private sector, in particular pharma and logistics.

The World Economic Forum is supporting COVID-19 vaccination by bringing together leaders to collaborate on actions including amplifying trusted information, increasing confidence in vaccines, and addressing deployment challenges. For example, the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation recently partnered with the US-ASEAN Business Council to test the readiness of ASEAN countries to import COVID-19 vaccines and related medical equipment.

Conclusion

To conclude The system helps users reduce excess inventory by showing them what usage patterns they have,” and thereby reduce their inventory. COVID-19 vaccines should be quickly and safely distributed world-wide when they become available. Express delivery carriers have been working through the logistics and making plans based on their experience with medical shipments.

With the experience of successfully deploying 1000 plus projects with every technology globally, and growing exponentially year by year AeoLogic Technologies is getting reading to provide a complete RFID solution as per your application requires using a combination of software integrations, passive UHF RFID tags, and RFID Readers to make the covid-19 vaccine reachable to the masses. We are already providing service solutions in the warehousing, cargo management, logistics management, retail chain sector, and manufacturing industries.

Feel free to contact support@aeologic.com