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Vaccine Logistics and Cold Chain Management Unit PDF Print

Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective healthcare interventions available today. As per the Coverage Evaluation Survey (CES 2009), 61 percent of children in India are fully immunized while 39 percent of children are left either unimmunized or partially immunized. There are a variety of contributory factors to these missed children; non-availability of vaccines and syringes at session site is one of the directly impacting elements. The availability and accessibility of vaccines is determined by effectiveness of the vaccine logistics management system from national level up to the last mile beneficiary in the cold chain point. The Vaccine Logistics and Cold Chain Management (VLCCM) unit supports the MoHFW to improve policies, procedures, equipment, workforce availability and skills and technologies that ensures the safety and effectiveness of immunization.

Strategic Focus

  • Develop national standard guidelines for vaccine logistics and cold chain.
  • Establish a system for real-time vaccine logistics management across all cold chain points in the country.
  • Establish a reliable and dynamic temperature monitoring system to ensure vaccines are stored and transported under recommended temperature conditions.
  • Pilot test new strategies to strengthen healthcare delivery systems and programme implementation through the use of technology and innovative methodologies.

The unit supports efforts to:

  • Improve maintenance of stock visibility across the supply chain,
  • Undertake distribution planning,
  • Reduce wastage, and
  • Monitor storage conditions.

Reducing high wastage rates is important from a financial standpoint as newer and more expensive vaccines (such as Pentavalent, Rotavirus and Pneumococcal) are being explored for introduction into the UIP.

Currently, vaccines are procured by the Government of India and supplied to states directly from the manufacturer. Under limited circumstances, buffer stocks from Government Medical Store Depots (GMSDs) are supplied to states. At district level, a variety of vaccine management practices are being followed with inadequate distribution planning – resulting in both overstock scenarios and stock out conditions across storage points within a particular district. Also, reporting and recording formats (e.g. indent forms, stock registers, and issue vouchers) are not standardized, resulting in an array of documents being used to document stock flows.

The current system in the majority of states is paper based, without visibility of real-time tracking of stock. To address this gap, an electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) has been developed for vaccine logistics management in the country. This framework was designed based on end-to-end vaccine supply chain assessments and consultations with various stakeholders at national, state and field levels. The eVIN model is currently being implemented in Bareilly and Shahjahanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh and provides services to 7.4 million population with poor immunization coverage. The model is being expanded to three major Indian states under the Health System Strengthening supported by GAVI.

A system for real-time temperature monitoring across all cold chain points has been developed by VLCCM.  This system is supported by specially designed SIM-based temperature loggers which were piloted in various geographical locations for action oriented monitoring. This concept is being scaled up under the eVIN strategy. The unit is working on upgrading the cold chain system in the country and field testing of new cold chain technologies with an overall aim to ensure that adequate and potent vaccines are available to every child in the country.

Last Modified : April 28, 2015, 12:40 pm