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Tackling COVID-19 by supporting the global vaccine “cold chain”

With funding support from the Office of Global Affairs and the Population Health Initiative, two UW researchers are supporting partners around the world in addressing the COVID-19 crisis.

When a vaccine is available, there will be massive immunization campaigns around the world to make sure that everyone is protected. Planning must begin now to ensure that proper logistical systems are in place to support this monumental effort.

For low-income countries, a significant concern is the capacity and quality of the vaccine “cold chain”. Cold storage must be available to keep vaccines safe until administered. National assessments of the vaccine cold chain are needed as well as information systems that allow real-time reporting of vaccine stocks during the campaign.

Richard Anderson and Waylon Brunette from the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering have built an app for that – and much more. Their work strengthens IT systems run by governments and the World Health Organization to support vaccine campaign logistics. Already up and running in Uganda, the tools will soon launch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan and Bangladesh.