Drones Could Be Cheaper Alternative in Delivering Vaccines

Drones Could Be Cheaper Alternative in Delivering Vaccines

Unmanned aerial vehicles could also improve vaccination rates in low- and middle-income countries

June 21, 2016

Unmanned drone delivery of vaccines may save money and improve vaccination rates in low- and middle-income countries, according to a new computer simulation by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC).

Delivery of vaccines by drones may be quicker and cheaper than by land-based methods limited by road conditions and the need for costly fuel and maintenance, according to the HERMES advanced computer model. The researchers reported their findings today in the journal Vaccine.

“When we're considering changes such as introducing drone delivery to a system as dynamic as a vaccine supply chain we might see unexpected consequences, not all of which are positive,” says Leila Haidari, public health applications manager at PSC and coauthor in the paper. “Computational modeling gives us the ability to assess the potential impacts of the change and inform our decision making.”

Read more about the study.

Read more about the HERMES supply chain model.

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