This article was originally featured on the Forbes Technology Council.
From a domestic security and supply-chain logistics perspective, the manufacture and distribution of vaccines to counter Covid-19 will be a daunting task. Inside the United States, multinational corporations, trucking companies, and third-party transportation providers have been or will be mustered to rapidly move the vaccines and their components under substantial time pressure. These problems are complicated by the fact that current vaccines need multiple doses and one must be stored in ultracold conditions, creating even more precarious supply chain and chain of custody considerations. The chain of custody is complex, including multiple handoffs between the companies that are manufacturing the vaccine, the companies manufacturing vaccine components like syringes, transit to areas where the vaccine will be held in each state, and the facilities that will ultimately administer each dose. Thousands of individuals could be involved in these efforts, and their role is critical.
Our robust interstate highway capabilities, which were created in the wake of World War II, were designed for exactly this sort of challenge, and so was our air space. As the executive director of a company that offers solutions to detect physical security threats, the transportation system doesn’t worry me, but the potential for serious theft, insider collusion and intentionally or accidentally compromised supplies does. The success of the vaccination effort will rely partially on the physical effort to move these supplies, but it will also rely on the public’s belief that the vaccine is safe and likely that its supply chain is secure.
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