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Accelerating vaccine distribution through public sector partnerships

Since COVID-19 vaccinations started in earnest earlier this year, at least 164 million people in the US and 1.7 billion people globally have received at least one dose of a vaccine. 1,2 This rapid pace of vaccinations is the result of many factors—high demand, increasing supply, and efficient distribution management. For that last factor, technology has played an important role in enabling efficient, safe, and equitable vaccine distribution.

At Microsoft, we are committed to helping communities maximize vaccination rates. Through our Microsoft Vaccination Management offering, built on Microsoft Power Platform, we are helping governments at all levels effectively manage the distribution of vaccines to their priority populations. While the components of Microsoft Vaccination Management are common across each implementation, they are adapted for each customer to meet their unique needs.

As Microsoft continues to help communities boost COVID-19 vaccinations at the last mile, we checked in with local and state government organizations using Microsoft Vaccination Management for an update on vaccination efforts.

Students in masks working.

São Paulo State Government, Brazil

The São Paulo State Government Health and Communication Secretaries launched the public vaccination program, Vacina Já, to help vaccinate more than 40 million citizens. Supported by Prodesp, the technology organization for the Government of São Paulo, the solution is built on Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform, and Microsoft Azure. In April 2021, 5.6 million people had pre-registered for vaccinations through Vacina Já. “Prodesp has been committed to developing solutions to help fight the pandemic and pre-registration is one of the actions that contribute to this, speeding up the vaccination process in all regions of the state”, says André Arruda, CEO of Prodesp.

Oklahoma State Department of Health

In Oklahoma, Microsoft helped develop a mobile app to help residents confirm vaccine eligibility and help schedule vaccination appointments. To date, more than 350,000 residents have booked a vaccine appointment through the app and 348,000 have received the vaccine. “Oklahoma’s very early successes reaching hundreds of thousands of people with COVID vaccine were due, in large part, to the implementation of the scheduling portal,” according to Buffy Heater, assistant deputy commissioner, Oklahoma State Department of Health. “The public has come to rely upon the 24-7 availability of the online scheduling feature as a valuable aid. The portal supports a ‘no touch’ point of service experience and has greatly increased the throughput at large COVID vaccine events. Oklahoman’s have benefited greatly from the quick deployment of this technology tool.”

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

After some technical challenges with previous systems, Montgomery Country, Pennsylvania worked with Microsoft to launch a new vaccine registration system to help streamline the process and improve the customer experience. Since the tool launched, more than 92,000 residents have booked appointments and more than nearly 65,000 have received a shot. “The Montgomery County Office of Public Health needed a COVID-19 vaccine scheduling system that prohibited appointment sharing when the vaccine was scarce and was easy to use for persons with limited technical expertise”, explained Janet Panning, Interim Administrator Office of Public Health, Montgomery County, PA.  “The Microsoft Vaccine Management system was up and running within three weeks and not only met but far exceeded our expectations on both counts.”

Baltimore, Maryland

The City of Baltimore was looking for a comprehensive solution to support the logistics of a city-wide vaccination registration and scheduling effort. Working closely with our Microsoft team, the city’s vaccine management solution enabled pop-up mobile clinics to serve vulnerable and disconnected populations. More than 10,000 residents registered for vaccinations within weeks of launch.

“Microsoft’s vaccine management solutions have enabled Baltimore City to be more agile in our response to COVID, it has enabled community vaccination clinics and advanced analytics that were previously unavailable”, said Michael Fried, Chief Information Officer, Baltimore City Health Department. “We plan to extend the platform to support our network of partners throughout the City and to enable advanced functionality like SMS-based registration. We believe [Microsoft’s vaccine solutions] and our broader Microsoft partnership will be critical to our COVID response.”

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Los Angeles, California

In order to facilitate a safe return to school, the Los Angeles Unified School District turned to Microsoft to develop a COVID-19 emergency response solution for a seamless, end-to-end, vaccination experience. Since the solution deployed, more than 35,000 staff members have booked appointments and received the vaccine. “Los Angeles Unified’s COVID testing and vaccination program relies on a technology and information system built with the support of Microsoft which includes registration and scheduling, contactless appointment check-in and the ability to share appropriate information with the school community and health authorities,” according to Austin Beutner, Superintendent, LAUSD. “We started working with Microsoft last summer to help bring students and staff back to schools in a safe and coordinated way and we planned ahead by integrating COVID-19 testing and vaccinations into the solution. Los Angeles Unified is the first school district and likely the largest employer in the nation to use a comprehensive technology solution like this.”

Learn more about Microsoft Vaccination Management

These are just a sampling of success stories using Microsoft Vaccination Management across state, county, and local institutions including school districts. Learn more about Microsoft Vaccination Management capabilities and access resources to deploy the solution.

More from our blogs:

1-“At least 165.7 million people have received one or both doses of the vaccine in the U.S.”, The Washington Post, 2021

2-“Tracking Coronavirus Vaccinations Around the World”, The New York Times, 2021