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Impacts of Vaccine Cold Chain Logistics on Vaccine Epidemiology

Assi, Tina-Marie (2011) Impacts of Vaccine Cold Chain Logistics on Vaccine Epidemiology. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The performance of vaccine logistics systems (i.e., the steps in a supply chain necessary to get vaccines from manufacturers to patients) can impact whether vaccines are delivered at the right time, place and in the right condition for patients during immunization sessions. Immunization coverage in a population depends on a well-functioning vaccine supply chain. If target populations are not immunized before exposure, they are left unprotected against vaccine preventable diseases (VPD's) and can contribute to infectious disease transmission in their communities. Changes may be made to logistics systems without considering their potential effects on vaccine distribution and availability at vaccinating health centers. The combined works of this dissertation illustrate such changes and resulting impacts on vaccine availability, including: changes to vaccine presentations, changes to the vaccine supply chain structure, and changes to a vaccine regimen.The Vaccine Modeling Initiative (VMI) developed the Highly Extensible Resource for Modeling Supply chains (HERMES), a stochastic, discrete-event simulation model. VMI collected information on vaccine cold chain equipment (e.g., refrigerators and freezers), transportation fleets, demographic indicators for target populations, and supply chain operating policies (e.g., shipping frequencies) for the country Niger and for Trang province in Southern Thailand. HERMES was then used to evaluate various supply chain interventions and determine their impacts on logistics indicators including: vaccine availability at health centers, transportation and storage utilization, and additional capacity requirements. With over a dozen new vaccines being introduced into national immunization programs in the next decade, logistics systems will be further pressed to ensure vaccines are delivered to their target populations. These studies will highlight the importance of considering vaccine logistics systems when making changes to immunization programs, and suggest potential alternative strategies to improve the performance of supply chains and ultimately vaccination coverage rates. Furthermore, these studies will demonstrate the utility in using computational models to evaluate and provide solutions for public health challenges by representing relationships that would not otherwise be apparent.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLee, Bruce Y.byl1@pitt.eduBYL1
Committee MemberNorman, Bryan A.banorman@pitt.eduBANORMAN
Committee MemberRajgopal, Jayantrajgopal@pitt.eduRAJGOPAL
Committee MemberBrown, Shawn
Committee MemberWisniewski, Stephen R.wisniew@edc.pitt.eduSTEVEWIS
Committee Member,
Date: 23 September 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 22 July 2011
Approval Date: 23 September 2011
Submission Date: 1 August 2011
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: global health; logistics; supply chain; Vaccines
Other ID:, etd-08012011-204117
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:56
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:47


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