Equitable access to quality-assured vaccines, when and where they are needed, is fundamental to accelerating the progress towards universal health coverage and achieving the health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, there are myriad challenges in the procurement, storage and distribution of vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, largely stemming from weak management and monitoring of the vaccine supply chain and cold chain. Addressing these challenges is paramount to promoting efficient and equitable distribution of vaccines and maximizing the utility of limited national resources.
The Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN), developed by the Government of India with support from UNDP and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has been shown to effectively overcome the bottlenecks in vaccine access and delivery. The eVIN application is a digital mobile and web-based system that provides customized end-to-end tracking of vaccine inventory, from the warehouse to the ‘last mile’, including live monitoring of stock distribution, consumption and storage temperature at each service delivery point. The real-time visibility of the entire vaccine supply chain provides valuable information to enhance oversight and accountability, and inform decision-making to optimize vaccine procurement, distribution and management.
Since 2015, UNDP has been working with the Government of India on rolling out eVIN, which now reaches 85% of the vaccine supply chain across the country. Incidence of vaccine stock-outs has reduced by 80% and there is now 99% vaccine availability across all delivery points. Across a 6-month period, eVIN implementation reduced avoidable vaccine wastage by approximately 90 million doses. By 2020, eVIN will be implemented at every cold chain point in India, reaching over 28,000 health facilities and contributing to the coverage of over 156 million beneficiaries. The improvements in vaccine supply, distribution and utilization is estimated to net a three-fold return on investment for the national immunization programme. Given such encouraging success in India, there is significant interest from other countries in adapting the eVIN system, particularly in Indonesia where it is currently being scaled up, to strengthen their national immunization programmes.