As 2021 approaches its midway point, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from being over with daily infection figures still close to millions globally. Several new variants and strains of the virus have emerged with some proving to be more contagious and several countries have gone into lockdowns again to prevent the spread. But not all are on the negative side as far as the pandemic situation is concerned. Several vaccines have been approved for use in different countries and massive vaccination programs are currently in progress in almost every country. Hopefully, very soon, COVID-19 will cease to be a threat anymore to the global community.
Now that the vaccines are out, the challenge faced by governments and healthcare providers worldwide is the effective distribution and management of vaccine administration. Data on who has been vaccinated, the right dosage or schedules, geographical and demographic information of vaccinated personnel are all required by government agencies to measure and forecast vital signs such as signals of herd immunity, ease control measures imposed on movement for areas where the number of people vaccinated is high and so on. As always, technology proves to be the savior in enabling a seamless vaccine management program for several countries.
And one technology that enables universal acceptance of vaccination programs and their subsequent actions is mobility. So how exactly does a smartphone or mobility play a role in vaccine administration? Putting facts into the table, there are more than 3 Billion smartphone users worldwide today and the number is only climbing up every day. The wide adoption of smartphones creates an opportunity for driving more impactful vaccination programs that establish a connection with people across the world through dedicated apps.
Let us examine some key areas where mobile plays a critical role in effective vaccine management:
A dedicated mobile app launched by a government or healthcare body can enable people to sign up for vaccination drives, update their profile information, authorize the vaccination program by giving digital consent and confirm their registration and schedules. This will greatly enhance the data collection and reporting capability which is essential for vaccine management. People can do all these tasks from anywhere on their smartphone thereby offering a boost to convenience.
The world cannot be forever locked away from events, conferences, and gatherings that involve a sizeable crowd. For society to co-exist, businesses to flourish, and tourism to gather steam, people need to go out and establish their presence across global events or be at attractive destinations for leisure or for business. But permitting people to a venue where they are bound to interact in close proximity with a sizable crowd is a risky proposition in the present COVID scenario. However, a dedicated mobile app can serve as an entry pass to the event. The app can provide digital passes with details such as diagnosis reports, vaccination schedule, information such as date and place of vaccinations, etc. Organizers of events and programs can validate credentials in these digital passes to ensure that only people with a low risk of infection are permitted to enter. Having a smartphone app for this purpose increases convenience for the whole process.
Given the present scenario, there is a high demand for effective vaccination centers across cities in different parts of the world. Governments and healthcare providers can use dedicated mobile apps to enable citizens to easily book appointments at their nearest vaccine center. The government agencies can track the progress of the vaccination to further generate insights on levels of completion at the state or national level.
Several businesses have announced that they will bear the cost and effort to get their employees vaccinated through their direct influence in different countries. However, maintaining a digital record of a company’s vaccination drive can be humongous if there are a very large number of employees working for that company. With a dedicated mobile app, it will be easier for employees to schedule their vaccination appointment, update their employer about its status, enable employers to collate data and report the same to government agencies, handle payments for vaccination drives, and much more.
We are seeing newer vaccines being developed and approved by global health agencies and the race is on to produce them in quantities needed to vaccinate a sizable global population. While manufacturing is one part of the equation, the other half lies in establishing a sound vaccination program that handles end-to-end administration of different vaccines. The activities range from logistics to scheduling of appointments and actual vaccination at different points of contact as notified by recognized bodies or authorities. Mobility plays a crucial role in accelerating a seamless vaccine management practice and can be a vital component in bringing normalcy to social gatherings by serving as a portable e-passport for people to establish and prove their vaccine credentials while on the move.