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Can data science be used for Vaccine Distribution?

by Team IA, January 11, 2021

Covid Vaccine

Vaccination process against COVID-19 has kickstarted across the world, and the very important question about vaccine distribution is faced by all governments. In India, the vaccination process will begin on January 16, 2021 and it is no mean feat to administer both the doses of the vaccine to a population of 1.3 billion people. Data science comes to rescue at every step.

Contact tracing to contain the disease                                      

As new strains of the virus emerge, Contact Tracing will continue to be helpful just as in the past. During the initial stages of the spread of Covid-19, at Infinite Analytics we did a comprehensive contact tracing in association with 30 state authorities and traced people across hotspots in 23 states in India. Through our meta mobility data analysis, we stopped the virus in its tracks by alerting the authorities that even though containment zones were created, people were still visiting the other zones for daily work like buying milk or using a toilet as all zones did not have the said facilities. The state authorities stepped up their efforts, with the help of our chase-the-virus strategy checked the Covid spread in Asia’s densest slum.

Covid Vulnerability Index

Cut to now, as the health ministry has announced limited vaccine distribution till August 2021. In this scenario, identification of the vulnerable sections of the population becomes a priority. Covid Vulnerability Index is an AI-based predictive tool which helps identify those who need to be vaccinated first by determining the right criteria.  Through the scores of data from across the country available with us, we create a Covid Vulnerability Index. We ask users to fill a simple form and arrive at their vulnerability-to-covid percentage. This form contains specific data such as if they suffer from any diseases listed or if they have been hospitalised in the recent past or if they have had any blood-related transfusions in the recent past. This along with their age, gender, etc. make us arrive at the vulnerability percentage. In the bigger picture, we also are able to gather more data about how many people are more vulnerable and thus should be vaccinated first.

Data can be used in conducting seroprevalence (pathogen levels in the population’s blood serum) studies in a large number of people within a small time frame. The data thus obtained can be used to target vaccine distribution in those communities which have not yet developed immunity.

But the main criteria of vaccine distribution still remain occupation, age, co-morbidities, and income. Frontline workers, aged, immuno-compromised etc. remain the top priority.

Vaccine distribution: How to reach identified targets

There are several criteria attached to vaccine distribution such as allocation of storage facilities as the vaccine needs to be stored at low-temperatures to maintain its efficacy. eVIN or electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network is currently given the task of vaccine management. This doesn’t come without challenges. AI comes in handy and can help in optimising delivery and IoT can alert the authorities upon detecting any fluctuation in storage temperatures of the vaccine. AI can also keep track of those vaccinated per area as studies suggest 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.

Data Analytics can be used in creation of the Covid Vulnerability Index that can be used anywhere in the world over a period of time.

Check here for our blog on the top AI trends in AI in 2021.

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by Team IA

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