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EquiVax: Equitable vaccination Allocation

Image of The interplay of professional and organizational resilience during times of disruption

by Alessia Melegaro and Soheil Shayegh, in collaboration with the Climate and Health Initiative Alliance member institutions

As more COVID-19 vaccines become available, developing countries especially those in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are ramping up their efforts to prepare national plans for the distribution and administration of the vaccine. The healthcare system in SSA is currently facing a shortage of about 6000 healthcare facilities and over 2.5 million hospital beds to meet the sustainable development goal of healthcare access for all by 2030. Therefore, an effective plan for mass vaccination in SSA requires considering the current healthcare system limitations, population distribution, risk factors, supply chain constraints, and accessibility to electricity for vaccine refrigeration. The EquiVax project will be built upon an optimization algorithm considering the vaccine cost, supply, and administration constraints and will consider mass vaccination strategies such as vaccination drives, and concentrated vaccination at current facilities or at temporary vaccination centers. It provides an open-access online tool for decision makers in the SSA region to plan a country specific and sub-nation specific rollout plans for effective immunization of their populations in a timely manner. It will use GIS data on population distribution and age groups, accessibility algorithms, and a comprehensive database of healthcare facilities in the region to produce high resolution interactive maps which allow the user to focus on any specific region and customize the parameters of the model to obtain a highly flexible and customized solution.