Immunization supply chain of India
Abstract: Background The COVID 19 pandemic has subjected a lot of countries to economic and social turmoil. This has contributed to socio economic as well as psychological challenges undermining the economies of many countries. Immunization is the key in this crucial phase of pandemic that can save a lot of precious lives. But imminent challenges in immunization supply chain of world countries to the native population across the world are manifold. This must be enhanced to enable the world to come back to normalcy. Problems in distributing vaccines are aplenty depending on the adversity in each country. By studying this phenomenon, many solutions could be found that can benefit the concerned stakeholders. Problem definition Distribution of vaccines is often a challenge in developing countries, this is due to several shortfalls in the immunization supply chain setup like cold chain distribution, lack of infrastructure for last mile delivery and shortage of adequate staff for administering the vaccines and storage capacities at distribution centres which makes it challenging to conduct immunization. Aim of the study This study will identify the challenges in the COVID-19 immunization supply chain of India and identify the main challenges it faces in immunization its population against COVID-19 and describe how it can be mitigated by identifying suggestions from theory for future that will aid in strengthening the immunization supply chain. This analysis will be made in comparison to the routine immunization programme that happens in India. Research methodology To study the immunization supply chain of India, the case study research methodology is followed. A single case study is adapted to study the challenges of COVID-19 vaccination in India. The study on a higher levels follows an abductive approach to achieve the purpose of answering the research question. The qualitative data for the study is mainly collected through secondary sources such as Journals, articles and newspapers relevant to COVID-19 vaccination in India. Primary data is not utilized as there were challenges collecting data from the health care workers in India. Conclusions The challenges for COVID-19 immunization supply chain of India is much more than routine immunization supply chain. All the activities of immunization supply chain in India face challenges starting from planning the immunization supply chain, cold chain distribution till vaccine administration. Hence most of the challenges identified resemble theory which states the problems in immunization supply chain for developing countries. The only dissimilarity from theory is the vaccine procurement and information systems where India has achieved self sufficiency in vaccine procurement and has integrated information system in place in all its vaccine stores. Contribution The study will help the stakeholders to understand the main challenges in COVID-19 immunization supply chain and areas requiring attention for overall improvement. The identified challenges faced may be of some help for the stakeholders in India to tide over the shortcomings and ways & means to improve during the COVID-19 vaccination. Unless efforts are put at each stage of the vaccination drive, the challenges cannot be met with success; there could be downward trend in India’s immunization program in future. But since it is a pandemic, it could take time to implement considering the vastness of India’s immunization program and at present it looks like India is on the way to achieve its desired goal. This is also a way to help stakeholders for future immunization in India.
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