JANUARY 29, 2021 — Editor’s note: This op-ed by Bernard Arulanandam originally appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.
As various COVID-19 vaccines roll off the manufacturing line, the daunting logistics of mass distribution and immunization represent an unprecedented challenge.
With a global population of just less than 8 billion people and the estimated number needed to reach herd immunity between 60 and 70 percent of the population, we will need 5.6 billion vaccine doses. Given that treatment regimens will require a second dose, this will approach 11.2 billion doses globally. To put this in perspective, this is equivalent to 34 times the U.S. population.
This staggering requirement exposes vulnerabilities on several fronts, including manufacturing, supply chain, personnel, deployment and implementation. These weaknesses are further amplified in under-resourced and poorer countries that lack basic infrastructure.
Vaccines are inherently complex to manufacture and more so for highly sophisticated products such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that utilize mRNA technology. These modern products incorporate specialized technological innovations for production and require precursor materials from a few sources abroad that inherently produce a narrow supply chain.
Additional constraints include logistics and mapping of distribution sites, tackling cold chain requirements during delivery and administration, and systematically monitoring the delivery and dispensation of additional doses. Given that COVID-19 vaccines are in emergency-use authorization and being shipped to countries with various regulatory requirements, tracking vaccine safety and efficacy across different populations becomes paramount. This also requires constructing a unified communication channel that transcends borders and facilitates trust across racial and ethnic lines.
This pandemic has refocused the needs to diversify geographically, secure the supply chain nationally and globally, and reduce the dependence on sole countries such as China. There is a need to develop a sustained strategy with a funding source to mature innovative technologies and solutions that will bring vaccines and biologics to market faster. Finally, learning from past successes in global vaccine and treatment delivery networks akin to the GAVI vaccine alliance and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief will provide a framework to achieve the desired vaccine coverage.
Marshaling this global effort will require genuine and transparent leadership from different world bodies with a renewed urgency for cooperation. The need to further fuel alliances across public-private partnerships is evident to end this pandemic and be much more prepared for the next.
The virtial event will feature undergraduate student research and creative endeavors from across the university. Students who have participated in research experiences beginning summer 2020 through Spring 2021 are invited to participate.Virtual Event
By participating in this training you will feel more prepared to recognize potential harm on a spectrum, decide how you would respond in certain situations and take action to keep our Roadrunner Community safe.Virtual Event
At UTSA, there are many ways to connect with others, gain relevant career experience, and leave your mark at a world-ranked university. With over 300 student organizations, there’s something for everyone at UTSA. Hear from various UTSA Students Leaders about their life as a Roadrunner and why UTSA is their new home.Virtual Event
This course is offered by UTSA's Employee Assistance Program EAP Deer Oaks. Every new beginning comes from something else ending, and in our ever changing world, it is essential to develop the ability topositively cope with change. This session provides participants with the insight to understand the nature of change and learn how to effectively deal with both the losses and the gains that change brings to one’s life.Virtual Event
On April 28, 2021, millions of people across the world will wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors, and educate themselves and others about all forms of sexual violence. To support this movement our donation drive will be items that we will be putting together to make Care Kits. These Care Kits are for students, faculty and staff to get in case of an emergency and they need to leave the situation they're in ASAP and do not have time to pack.Ximenas Ave Garage
ISD Saturdays are an exclusive opportunity for students at an ISD in San Antonio. Each event will group various districts together for each presentation date or session.Virtual Event
Floor captains play a critical role in emergency preparedness, safety awareness and crime prevention techniques throughout the university. They focus on safety and security initiatives while providing guidance and direction to building occupants. During emergency activations, they assist with required evacuations and reentry, shelter-in-place commands, interface with police and other first responders, and help those who may require assistancer.MyTraining Webinar
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.