Why a vaccine registry is not enough

By Annabell Lee

With states being penalized for a slow vaccine roll out, the pressure is on for a seamless and efficient vaccination process. Questions that states should be asking themselves are:

  1. How many people in your State are willing to get vaccinated right now?
  2. Do you have a way to direct the vaccine supply to the areas of the State where citizens who want the vaccine live?
  3. Have you thought about meeting the vaccine demand based on the preferences of your citizens

As we know, states have been rushing to administer the vaccines, and thus have had no choice but to move forward without the necessary data points. The questions above may be difficult to answer given the states’ current resources.

Even if a State has a vaccine registry, it may still not be enough in dealing with the vaccine administration. A State registry only offers a one-way, temporary point of communication that lacks the ability to accurately assess the demand and easily communicate to people the availability of vaccines.

In order to maximize the efficiency of vaccine distribution, states need to have an ongoing, two-way communication so that residents stay updated about their second dosage, adverse reactions, available vaccines, etc.

Many states are struggling with vaccine wastage. Essential workers were designated to receive the vaccination first, but some of these individuals are either not interested in receiving the vaccine or they don’t show up for their appointments. This creates a time-critical problem for vaccination sites as any open vaccine vials expire in six hours.

Ideally, each vaccination site could access a database of interested vaccine registrants, sort by geographic location, notify this group that vaccinations are available, and direct them to a site to make an appointment.

According to Bloomberg, states are struggling to assess the logistics of the vaccine distribution. Demand signal technology is the gap most states are facing to efficiently and effectively distribute vaccines to the masses.

What is a demand signal?

US COVID-19 cases by county as of March 3, 2021

Source: The New York Times

Say you are attempting to designate polling sites. You need to know how many people are in each district and their geographic proximity to possible polling sites.

The demand signal is the amount of eligible voters in each district. You change the boundaries of each polling site based off of the demand signal so that one site isn’t overcrowded and another empty. This ensures that people are able to vote in a timely and efficient manner and resources are not being wasted.

The same logic applies to a vaccination site. You want to know how many people within that geographic area are willing to get vaccinated. From there, you can efficiently distribute the vaccine and communicate to interested parties vaccine availability.

The tricky part about a demand signal for vaccines is that there are multiple data points, geographic locations, and supply chain issues to consider. Putting all these components together to make a cohesive story is difficult for states to handle alone.

This is why demand signal technology is so important. The underlying issue is that there is a mismatch between supply and demand. If states want to ensure that their resources are being used efficiently then they need a solution that can quickly, and accurately, assess the demand.

Check out our vaccine management solution that uses demand signal technology to ensure vaccines are available where they are needed.