Vaccine Distribution Needs Special Treatment, ALFI Suggests These Steps

Since Indonesia needs hundreds million doses of covid-19 vaccine to for millions of population, while the other hand the vaccine requires a certain condition for living longer, it calls a special treatment for both, the vaccine distribution and storage process. Therefore, Indonesia Logistics and Forwarders’ Association (ALFI/ILFA) calls for an intensive cooperation among any stakeholders, while suggesting some steps for special treatment both in distribution and storage process. 

Moreover, according to ALFI Chairman Yukki Nugrahawan Hanafi, Indonesia will use more than five types of vaccine with different treatment of distribution process and it needs a long time to cover all Indonesia’s citizens. 

Assuming that Indonesia will distribute as many as 43.9 million doses per annum, it will need 9-10 years to cover all Indonesian citizens. 

“The government has to have a very special treatment in distributing this vaccine. The vaccine distribution needs a very special, very detailed, and very compete process of distribution,” Yukki said, adding that for a smooth process of distribution, it calls for improvement in any logistics activities. 

“That is why we call for a tighter and comprehensive cooperation among all stakeholders, including central government, local government, and private sectors, of course,” he said further. 

And if national logistics and forwarding companies are involved in this vaccine distribution, Yukki suggests the government to jointly set up the distribution scheme and mechanism, improve logistics infrastructure and distribution system. 

For example, Yukki said, the government must appoint some big cities as the hub for vaccine distribution. These hubs will be responsible to distribute the vaccine to some smaller points or regions. And then, the vaccine will be distributed to any beneficiaries, including the hospitals. 

He disagreed the distribution and stocking process via some Health Department of 34 Provinces throughout the country since they do not have adequate facilities and infrastructure for this vaccine treatment.

As the report has said, the government was preparing to stockpile 329.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from various manufacturers.

On a recent press statement, President Joko Widodo said, “I also need to mention about the number of vaccine doses that we have ordered. The firm orders include three million plus 122.5 million (doses) from Sinovac, then 50 million from Novavax, 54 million from Covax GAVI, 50 million from AstraZeneca, and 50 million (doses of the) vaccine from Pfizer. It means the total number of firm orders reaches 329.5 million (doses of) vaccines.”

Novavax is being manufactured by the United States and Canada, AstraZeneca by the UK, and Pfizer is being jointly produced by pharma companies based in Germany and the United States. Covax GAVI is a multilateral cooperation between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) that comprises 171 countries, with a target of providing two billion vaccines by the end of 2021.

Yukki underlined that those vaccines will need a very special treatment, even each kind of them needs different treatment, including in storage.

Ready to Provide Storage, Special Containers 

Yukki noted that until now, there was no single agency capable of providing cold storage or containers for this high volume of vaccine. Therefore, collaboration between the government and various private companies is needed. He also emphasized that he is ready if asked to bring in containers of minus 60 degrees, even though such containers do not yet exist in Indonesia.

“No need for government to buy, it can be run under rent scheme,” he said.

Yukki also suggested to run a technology-based delivery that can be easily monitored. “Monitoring is as crucial and the vaccination itself,” he said.

The only way that the monitoring can be done in real time is by relying on digitization. With this technology, he said, each vaccine to be injected has a barcode that is designated by a specific individual.

“This monitoring system can be used to evaluate. For example, if there are unexpected effects, the government can easily find it for evaluation,” he said.

Yukki also said that if the facilities in a certain area are inadequate, vaccines can be stored in places that have a maximum level of security, for example airports or ports in which they ate restricted areas.

“The new transportation will be carried out in stages according to the schedule in the system, so that the vaccine will not be stored longer at the Health Dept Office or Health centres in which they are with lower level of security,” he said.

In addition, it is necessary to prepare post-vaccination processing and disposal of waste.

“This vaccination program can run well if we have a very good plan. We hope the government will be more open in the vaccination process, so if there are problems, we can jointly find the solution,” said Yukki.

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