Johnson and Johnson

Vaccinating the unprotected child

Lead Organization

Johnson and Johnson

Bridgewater, New Jersey, United States

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Project Summary

In the developing world, one in five children under the age of five are not fully vaccinated, resulting in millions of preventable illnesses, and at least a million deaths per annum. The two leading contributors to this problem are a broken cold chain environment and poor or inadequate transportation infrastructure to reach the underserved populations in remote areas. Additionally, unreliable energy sources, irregular or non-existent equipment maintenance, and often convoluted modes of transportation, further exacerbate the problem.Consequently, immunization programs struggle to maintain proper temperature control (from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius) to ensure vaccine integrity, and rapidly deploy these vaccines in a timely fashion. We aim to improve cold chain and transportation capabilities in developing countries, by co-locating storage and refrigeration units, and autonomous and semi-autonomous delivery vehicles at cell phone towers, which are spread throughout the country, and are sources of constant energy even in off grid environments.

Problem Statement

The mission of the collaboration between Johnson and Johnson Supply Chain (JNJ-SC) and Energize the Chain (EtC), a 501C3, nonprofit organization, is to reduce the more then 1 million deaths annually of children under the age of five and the many millions of cases of devastating illnesses from vaccine preventable diseases among the world’s most vulnerable populations by extending and strengthening the vaccine cold chain.The impact of vaccination on individuals is immediate in terms of reduced morbidity and mortality of the children. In addition, vaccinating children provides significant secondary impact by empowering primary care givers (most often women); improving local community economics; improving efficiency and reducing costs associated with healthcare delivery.Immunization programs struggle to maintain vaccines between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, which is necessary to ensure the integrity of the vaccine. Unreliable energy sources, irregular equipment maintenance, difficult transportation conditions, lack of reliable data and monitoring all contribute to the vaccine cold chain problem. The situation worsens as you get further away from the capital cities of the most developing countries.We can solve the cold chain problem by utilizing the energy and connectivity available at mobile phone towers, which are sources of constant energy even in off-grid regions, coupled with emerging transportation technology for rapid deployment. That coupled with appropriate public private partnerships with Ministries of Health, the mobile phone and cell tower industries, local Universities, and NGOs, allows us to leverage our expertise to sustainably improve the health and well-being of the most vulnerable populations.

Solution Overview

Resolving the problem: The J&J SC / EtC team provides a unique, integrated solution to the problem of the one in five children who do not receive their full set of vaccinations. We strengthen public health services in remote areas by co-locating WHO certified, vaccine refrigerators to a reliable power source to maintain temperature control. While we ensure maintenance of vaccine temperatures, we also optimize the entire vaccine supply chain through our operation of one of the world’s most sophisticated supply chain management systems dedicated to global public health.Making progress: We have developed a rigorous set of health, economic and social metrics that document expectations and measure impact. These practices are both integral and fundamental to how we operate and will guide all future rollouts.Impact: Extrapolating from our current operations, more children will be fully vaccinated; communities will enjoy better child health, reduced levels of community infection, increased school attendance, increased participation of women in the work force, and economic empowerment. Industry partners realize positive community relationships, fulfillment of their Corporate Social Responsibility and expansion into new research and mentoring opportunities. Health service partners extend preventive medical care to the last mile and achieve decreased healthcare costs and more efficient allocation of resources.Who benefits: As we scale up, we positively impact the health and well-being of millions of children, especially those who live in the poorest countries in the world. The local economy, the health care and educational infrastructure and professional development all benefit from our solution.

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