Thursday 25.11. at 17:00-18:15
Chair: Wojciech Piotrowicz, Hanken School of Economics, HUMLOG Institute, Finland

Delivering COVID-19 Mass Vaccinations: The Case of Bhutan

Sarah Schiffling, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom
Chris Phelan, Edge Hill University, United Kingdom

Local Supply Chains
Vaccine Distribution

Bhutan, one of the least developed countries according to the UN list, had fully vaccinated 90% of eligible adults against COVID- 19 by late July 2021, outpacing most high-income nations. The country struggles with a severe shortage of healthcare professionals and its mountainous terrain, isolated location, and dispersed population create a difficult operating environment for logistics. Its challenges mirror those of many low- and middle-income countries. Therefore, this case study aims to offer valuable lessons for vaccination campaigns elsewhere.

Bhutan relied on international solidarity for the provision of vaccine doses and local expertise for the rollout. Careful planning depended on in-depth knowledge of healthcare workers and community leaders in each location. It was supported by an integrated IT platform that was used for anything from population mapping to the monitoring of vaccine side effects. The combination of on-the-ground expertise and good data management resulted in an effective and accessible vaccination campaign despite the infrastructure challenges in the country. The government engaged in intense two-way communication to comprehend and address the population’s concerns, resulting in low vaccine hesitancy and a very high uptake. While many lessons may be transferable to other countries, Bhutan also placed high importance on cultural sensitivity. In this case study, that included the involvement of the Buddhist monk body. This case study offers insights into a successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout that showcase the ability of low- and middle income countries to manage such campaigns by utilising local expertise and capacity.

Implications of tradeoffs between fairness, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability for COVID19 vaccine allocation: insights from Norway

Hossein Baharmand, School of Business and Law, University of Agder, Norway

Vaccine allocation
Multi-objective model
Case study

In this study, we use a multi-objective mathematical model to investigate the COVID-19 vaccine allocation decision based on effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and fairness. We define four proxies for each objective based on literature review and discussion with decision-makers in public health authorities. Our proxies are 1) coverage of vaccine demands (effectiveness) 2) potential logistics costs (efficiency) 3) Co2 emission of potential logistics (sustainability) and 4) ratio of allocated vaccine to demand (with respect to priority group in each municipality). We solve the mathematical model based on the data for the first four-week vaccination period in Norway (January 4th to January 31st, 2021) considering three vaccines for high- and one low-priority groups (one for each) in three municipalities.

As expected, analysis results depict that tradeoffs between demand coverage vs. costs are inevitable. However, results show that improving demand coverage would increase fairness, too; when the model allocates vaccines to high priority groups in all municipalities, the fairness score increases considerably. Sustainability remained the same in all alternative solutions though, as we considered very few municipalities and a rather short time frame in our experiment. We also compare our results with the allocation decision of Public Health Institute in Norway and show how our model could support increasing the fairness of allocation. This abstract is connected to the CONTRA (COVID19 Technology-based Responsive Action) research project funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Containing the COVID-19 Pandemic with Drones –
Feasibility of a Drone Enabled Back-up Transport System

Maximilian Kunovjanek, University of Klagenfurt, Austria
Christian Wankmüller, University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Corona Virus
Viral Testing

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly altered common social and economic patterns as governments all over the world have been forced to take drastic measures to counter the spread of the disease. Among them, quarantine, the closure of borders, and social distancing are the ones that have affected transportation systems most severely. With the clear need to avoid all unnecessary direct human contact, an increased interest in contactless transportation and delivery modes emerged. Drones are a promising alternative in this regard, especially for the delivery of essential goods, such as COVID-19 viral tests. In this study, we therefore investigate how drones can be used to distribute viral tests to potentially infected patients. The novel approach that we propose is to use existing drone infrastructure to perform this task, where drones owned and operated by different public and private entities are retrofitted for the distribution of essential goods in the case of emergency. In a wider sense, we hence suggest the establishment of a drone enabled back-up transport system. Potential performance gains are analyzed through a mathematical time and cost model that was developed in close cooperation with the state Red Cross Organization and a utility drone manufacturer. Process design as well as parameter estimation are based on empirical investigation including, but not limited to, accompanying a COVID- 19 mobile testing team in the field. The practical feasibility was verified by retrofitting drones initially assigned to other purposes. Additionally, policy recommendations, such as the establishment of public-public and public-private partnerships, were identified.

Humanitarian Supply Chains during COVID-19:
systemic failure, recovery and emerging alternatives

Claire Travers,Humanitarian Logistics Association, United Kingdom
Anna Lowe, Internet of Production Alliance, United Kingdom

cash assistance
voucher assistance
humanitarian supply chain
emergency logistics

The impact of COVID-19 has been acutely felt in humanitarian supply chains; due partly to their globalized, complex and interconnected nature. This paper presents the findings of 20 semi-structured interviews of humanitarian logistics and programme staff of how they experienced supply chain failure from Feb-Oct 2020. This study uses the York Framework for complex systems analysis to characterize these experiences into 4 common failures – unavailability of items, price volatility, delays in delivery and quality assurance issues. This presentation of the study also catalogues and evaluates which coping mechanisms were used to support dynamic recovery of local markets and of humanitarian programming. Specifically this paper identifies and discusses the expanded use of CVA (cash and voucher assistance) and the localization of supply chains as two potential policy areas for future pandemic responses.