March 2, 2021
The world is in the process of delivering one of the largest mass vaccination campaigns in human history, but managing the progress of safely distributing effective COVID-19 vaccines to potentially billions of people will be extremely challenging. U.S. federal health officials have provided guidance to states about how states might prioritize the distribution and administration of COVID-19 immunizations.
Vaccine prioritization is challenging in part due to variable definitions and determination of essential workers, pre-existing conditions, and initial demand for COVID vaccines exceeding the available supply. Now that vaccination efforts are underway, public health authorities need the ability to monitor vaccination rates, schedule adherence, and track outcomes in order to make any necessary vaccine and public health outreach program modifications.
There are a variety of obstacles that government and public health programs are having to address when it comes to vaccine distribution and management. Uncertainty and ambiguity surround issues such as responsibilities and ownership of the vaccination process, vaccine availability, and expectations of timing. Demand for vaccinations is exceeding initial vaccine supply, and inevitable production, efficacy, and logistics issues have already led to supply and vaccination program interruptions.
Programs may deal with coordination challenges for an unprecedented volume of vaccinations and clinical staff at points of dispensation. Management of the process continues after the vaccine is distributed, as well—active monitoring of symptoms and reactions is required. And throughout the entire vaccination rollout and beyond, public health organizations will need consistent communication with communities about the process, eligibility, and program changes.
Salesforce understands the need to address these challenges and close the gap by unifying systems with a platform that can help efficacy and build trust with constituents. Speed to deploy, scalability, and security are the hallmarks of centralized platforms that can help get vaccination management programs running successfully. And, because they’re nimble, those platforms are uniquely tuned to help communities and organizations remain agile as information and guidance from governing bodies are continuously updated.
“This is a unique experience and organizations need to move past the notion of existing limitations. This is an opportunity to create a new normal. Organizations are unlikely to experience success by returning to past service models. This is a chance to do something much bigger, much bolder, and more responsive than ever before,” says Rod Bremby, public sector strategist at Salesforce.
Step 1: Establish the System The first step to building a comprehensive vaccine management program is proper preparation—assembling the team, prioritizing candidates, and securing the platform and data. This can be achieved by using a unified technology platform that allows users to assemble and connect with team members, gather insights that help manage vaccine resources, and bridge secure connections between IT systems.
Step 2: Communicate with the Community The next step is conducting outreach and awareness to build trust with constituents by providing fact-based communications and keeping them informed throughout the vaccination process. Having staff on hand to answer questions that may arise and providing visibility into how vaccine resources are being managed and distributed can help constituents be better informed when it’s their turn to be vaccinated. Reaching out to constituents on their preferred communication channels is important when it comes to building trust.
Step 3: Rely on the Data With a strong foundation in place and established trust with constituents, a seamless administration plan is critical to the success of the vaccine rollout. Managing inventory and scheduling appointments with prioritized groups has been a stumbling block for many communities, but having a technology platform that is equitable, accurate, and data-driven can help solve scheduling and inventory challenges. Relying on data to ensure there is enough vaccine supply to meet the needs of those that have signed up can help overcome supply fluctuations, and an accessible platform will empower all constituents to schedule initial and follow-up appointments.
Step 4: Assess Community Impact Finally, having robust community safety and program monitoring capabilities is important for observing and reporting outcomes, helping businesses reopen, and enabling constituents to safely return to normal activities. Utilizing a platform to follow up with those who have been vaccinated is critical to understanding community impact and the program’s effectiveness, and provides the data needed to make decisions about reopening community spaces.
Tackling one of the largest public health initiatives in human history will require speed and agility. Using a single, comprehensive technology platform can help manage all the moving parts and information quickly and securely while remaining nimble enough to scale as vaccine availability increases and more members of the population become eligible to receive the vaccine. Remaining transparent about progress and sharing information as it becomes available will help build that necessary trust to boost the number of constituents getting vaccinated and help make your program successful. Having the capacity to assess the impact of vaccination programs within communities can also serve to inform program progress toward the equitable distribution of vaccines.
Learn more about Salesforce’s Vaccine Cloud and the technology needed to carry out an effective vaccination campaign with the Vaccine Management Playbook.