Analysis of the distribution of vaccine using Department of Defense assets versus contracts with private-sector delivery companies
Latta, Jason E.
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It is not a question of "if" the next pandemic influenza outbreak will strike, but "when." The current plan for vaccine distribution that the Department of Defense (DoD) has in place is to extend contracts to civilian delivery companies such as the United Parcel Service (UPS) or Federal Express (FedEx). According to the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza signed by then President Bush in 2005, as much as 40% of the population could be incapacitated if a pandemic influenza were to occur in the United States. If the DoD depends on civilian delivery companies to distribute the vaccine, it will be competing with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (responsible for distributing vaccine to the civilian population) for use of these services. This thesis will analyze whether it might be safer and more efficient to use DoD assets to make vaccine deliveries during a pandemic situation, instead of extending the usual delivery contracts with FedEx and UPS at a time when the availability and reliability of civilian delivery companies may be compromised. This thesis will first conduct a literature review of the history of pandemic influenza outbreaks in the United States and the responses to each outbreak. It will then analyze the current plans that are in place to vaccinate the DoD, as well as the civilian populations should an outbreak occur. Next, a model will be constructed that minimizes the amount of time before all Marine Corps active duty, dependents, and DoD civilian employees receive vaccination. The scope of the model will cover the seven Marine Corps installations on the eastern seaboard of the continental United States. Constraints of the model will include the total population at each of the seven installations that must receive vaccination, the daily capacity of the numerous Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF) at each installation, the speed with which various modes of transportation can deliver the vaccine, the cargo capacity of the various modes of transportation, and the feasibility of patients travelling to other installations to receive vaccinations if their home MTF is at capacity.
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