KPZK PAN and UG on the need to improve the vaccination system

The Committee for Spatial Planning of the Country of the Polish Academy of Sciences (KPZK PAN), with the participation of scientists from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Gdańsk, has prepared a document with reflections and suggestions on how to improve the vaccination system from the procedural point of view, especially in terms of spatial accessibility.

Unequal access to vaccinations, both in Poland and worldwide, is a serious problem that is increasingly coming to the fore.

At this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) online in Davos on January 26 this year, the issue was raised by Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, among others, who asked countries procuring excess quantities of Covid-19 vaccine to make them available to other countries where the vaccine has still not arrived.

The document prepared by the members of the CPSC of the Polish Academy of Sciences and scientists of the Faculty of Economics of the Jagiellonian University entitled "The need for a dynamic logistics system in times of bundled vaccine supplies (Reflections and suggestions)" shows that the functioning of the COVID-19 vaccination system at the beginning of this year raises concerns. "The need for a dynamic logistics system in the period of piled-up vaccine supplies (Reflections and suggestions)" shows that the COVID-19 vaccination system functioning since the beginning of this year raises concerns and is already working with varying effectiveness in the space of our country.

- As indicated by the research conducted by the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning of the Polish Academy of Sciences (the maps are available on the KPZK website), there are districts in our country in which the number of people aged 70 and more per vaccination point is 2000, while in other districts it is almost 8 times lower - says, prof. Jacek Zaucha from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Gdańsk, the chairman of the Task Team for Integrated Development Policy of Poland and Europe of the KPZK PAN.

According to scientists from the University of Gdańsk and the Polish Academy of Sciences, the problem is mainly the lack of guidelines and systems to support the use of unused vaccination doses.

- Leaving this problem to the COVID-19 vaccination providers (Roz. 3a, par. 28a ust. 2 Dz. U. 2021, poz. 91) may result in vaccines being wasted in peripheral regions with low population density (e.g. the problem of ad hoc commuting for the elderly), the document reads. - Periodic surpluses of vaccines should be better managed, and in a way that does not discriminate against marginalised areas with a lower density of medical infrastructure points.

What could a logistics system for managing surplus vaccines in times of supply spikes look like? KPZK PAN and scientists of the Faculty of Economics of UG propose:

1. Creation of a database (information base) of people willing to be vaccinated and willing to come to an emergency vaccination centre.

2. Implementing a system that would remove the responsibility of health facility managers for determining who to vaccinate off the list. E.g. a system based on a simple mobile phone application to exchange SMS messages.

3. Implementing a reserve list system, i.e. notifying an additional number of people of the opportunity to be vaccinated over and above the pool of available doses, to counteract the risk of those previously informed not showing up, in which case patients should also be notified that they are on the reserve list.

4. Grant the right to the head of the vaccinating unit, or a person authorised by him, to decide to dispatch vaccinating staff (together with a driver and other necessary equipment) to the patient's home or another agreed point, e.g. a rural clinic, to ensure spatial equity for those with more difficult transport access.

5. Generation of a report with the list of vaccinated persons for archiving and systemically control purposes (e.g. by the IT system of the unit performing these "emergency vaccinations").

6. Empowering the facility manager to vaccinate any person, in critical situations, (e.g. when there are 2 hours left before the vaccine expires and the electronic system has not successfully allocated patients).


Need for a dynamic logistics system in times of rush vaccine supplies (Reflections and suggestions)

Press Office of University of Gdańsk