How to get vaccines to the right place at the right time

Gaining control of health care waste in order to improve care delivery is crucial. Supply chain, tracking and logistics have to be optimized in order to limit waste.

Half the vaccines that are manufactured each year don’t make it to their destination — they get lost or damaged as they travel between the factory and the local health clinic. It’s not just a tremendous waste, it’s a killer: Each year, 1.5 million children in the developing world die for no reason other than a failed vaccine delivery. Neuroscientist and TED Fellow Catharine Young is working on a tool she thinks can help: Vive, an app that tracks and monitors vaccines on their journey, while gathering data to improve deliveries in the future. As she prepares to pilot the app in her native South Africa, Young shares six insights on this simple but potentially life-saving idea.

1. The biggest obstacle to getting vaccines to patients: shoddy infrastructure. “Vaccine delivery is a race against time anywhere, but in the developing world, you have limited functioning vehicles, limited electricity to keep vaccines cold, limited road infrastructure,” says Young. “Obstacles…

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