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Health and Safety

Salesforce’s Chief Medical Officer on Technology’s Role in Equitable, Global Mass Vaccination

On Thursday, Salesforce Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ashwini Zenooz appeared on CNN to discuss Salesforce’s initiatives and partnerships focused on creating digital platforms and tools to help coordinate mass global COVID-19 vaccinations. This week, the company announced that it is collaborating with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to help manage critical information to equitably distribute approximately two billion COVID-19 vaccines to 190 countries by the end of 2021. The full video replay of Dr. Zenooz’s CNN interview is available here:

Vaccine distribution at a mass scale will require integration and collaboration across local, state, federal, international and global entities. On CNN, Dr. Zenooz emphasized that standard spreadsheets, databases and digital tools will fall far short of the mark as complex data-driven decisions need to be made to equitably distribute vaccines all around the world. “Working with technology companies that have expertise in rolling out these types of technologies quickly, safely and securely is critical,” she said. “It’s critical to have stable, reliable technology that can help visualize what the supply is, what’s in demand, and allow countries to collaborate as we get these vaccines out.”

In addition to collaboration between organizations like Gavi and Salesforce, Dr. Zenooz stressed on a Protocol webinar this week that businesses of many types will need to participate as vaccines roll out. “Businesses and governments will need to join forces on a global scale to offer consistent, reliable and truthful messaging about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines,” she said. “It will require creativity to determine how we share information about the various COVID-19 vaccines across different communities and through channels that people trust.”

On CNN, Doctor Zenooz described how Salesforce technology, including for Vaccines, can help drive  complex, data-driven decisions involved in global, mass vaccination. “The technology is really agile and can be set to manage different types of data, managing everything from supply chain and logistics to keeping track of the different types of vaccines that have cold storage requirements,” she said. “It also facilitates communications requirements, even down to the level of scheduling vaccinations and  bringing people back for a second dose.” A video showing the capabilities of for Vaccines is available here

She also stressed that equitable distribution of vaccines is essential. “We need to make sure that we as a nation, and we as a global citizen, and the government work together so that the majority of the world is vaccinated as quickly as possible,” she said. “What we don’t want to have is a situation where there are countries–or people–of means who are getting more access, while the vulnerable nations have to wait, and have delayed access. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also critical so that you can prevent unnecessary deaths and economic devastation.”

Don’t miss the full video replay of Dr. Zenooz’s CNN interview, available above, and here are selected quotes from the segment:

“Technology is truly the great accelerator and the great equalizer, particularly when you’re dealing with healthcare situations like the one we’re in today.”

“In September, we released technology called for Vaccines, an end-to-end technology solution, and several states and global partners have already started rolling this out. In the United States, the State of New Hampshire, and globally, GAVI have already started using our technology. It facilitates tracking inventory levels of vaccines, who’s had the vaccine, the fact that we have to have two doses, and more.”

“The fact is, at some point in the future there are going to be lots of different vaccine brands to keep track of as well.”

“Gavi is trying to equitably distribute 2 billion doses to 190 countries by the end of 2021,  and they really need reliable technology that can help visualize supply and demand.” 


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