Vaccine management is fast becoming a technical challenge for state and local governments, and many of their efforts involve collaboration between health departments, software companies and consultants.
With two COVID-19 vaccines now authorized for use in the U.S., the next several months will test the ability of state and local governments to handle an unprecedented distribution challenge. Time is of the essence too, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is projecting between 2,000 and 4,000 deaths a week nationwide by mid-January.
Rather than design a distribution program from the ground up, the city of Chicago has partnered with the technology services company MTX Group to create a cloud-based vaccine management system using the Work.com platform launched by Salesforce in May.
According to a news release last week, the program is called GetVaxChi, and it will help the city’s health department plan the rollout, schedule appointments, gather analytics, create data visualizations, track inventory, communicate with patients and follow their cases. GetVaxChi is Chicago’s local iteration of MTX's customizable vaccine management product, built from tools in the Work.com platform.
Work.com was initially supposed to help agencies plan for safe working environments and test-and-trace coordination, but Salesforce added new tools in September for helping customers design their own vaccine management programs. According to the news release, MTX used those tools to build vaccine management software that can integrate with existing state and local immunization registries and electronic health record systems. It’s the latest of several vaccine management products built with the Work.com platform, joining others from Simplus and Accenture.
“This third wave of COVID-19 is getting worse,” said MTX epidemiologist Dr. Dora Il'yasova in a statement. “With pandemic fatigue setting in and the holiday season upon us, public health leaders are strongly urging and encouraging social distancing, mask-wearing and other mitigation factors that are evidence-based practices known to work. Successful mass vaccination is the key to reducing COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.”
Vaccine management is one of several COVID-related functions that MTX has been helping governments with, including health monitoring, unemployment insurance applications, emergency child care and isolation services for higher education. Earlier this year, the Frisco, Texas-based company won contracts to help Georgia and Texas with contact tracing.
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