Recently Esri (the developer of ArcGIS software) published an article in their quarterly publication ArcUser about how using GIS is the key to equitable and speedy vaccine distribution. This article came out a few months ago, so we wanted to make sure to highlight it this month when the vaccine distribution is really starting to gain speed.
Right now, in the United States, the majority of people are concerned about when they and their families will be getting vaccinated. Everyone is really looking forward to that day when we can visit our parents or grandparents and give them a big hug without worrying about getting them sick. This is exciting and it will be here soon for most of us. But, now think about people who may live miles from the nearest town, or can't leave their house, how do those people get access to the vaccine? Now think about other countries, and what about third world countries? How will that distribution work? A plan to immunize the entire world is going to take a complex strategy and using GIS to visualize the real-time distribution has never been more crucial.
The first step to solving this problem is to understand how GIS can help. In the article they highlight 5 key ways:
Identify Facilities Capable of Storing and Distributing the Vaccine
Identify and Prioritize Critical Populations
Identify Gaps in Access and Formulate Alternative Distribution Options
Implement a Vaccine Management and Inventory System
Provide Transparency and Accurate Communication
By using GIS you can visualize the situation and gain an understanding of a problem that you may never even knew existed. Thinking holistically about an approach is a challenge, but using all the layers of information and putting them into one database can help.
Here are just a few key points from the article:
1. Location intelligence is central to vaccination distribution efforts.
2. Modern GIS supports engagement with stakeholders and the public.
3. Dashboards provide real-time awareness and transparency.
Additionally, the author of this article talks about a certain type of data that can be used to target certain vulnerable communities.
Beyond communication to the general public, government leaders will also need to consider targeted outreach to special populations—those with vaccine hesitancy or non-traditional preferences for receiving information. Tapestry Segmentation data from Esri, which goes beyond demographics to offer unique insights into US neighborhoods, can help officials learn more about the needs and communication preferences of their population. By adding Tapestry data to maps, charts, and reports, officials can learn how to deliver relevant and effective messages to their communities. - Dr. Este Geraghty, the Chief Medical Officer and Health Solutions Director at Esri
To read the entire article and learn how using GIS can help with the distribution of vaccines, please visit this URL:
About Bay Park Data Solutions
Bay Park Data Solutions is an Esri Silver Business Partner. Our team of GIS analysts and developers are available to discuss your needs and help create solutions that can bring awareness and transparency to your projects. If you would like to discuss this article or have any questions related to how using GIS can assist with vaccine distribution let us know. We also offer customizable COVID health symptom checking solutions. By leveraging our business partnerships, there is no limit to what we can accomplish together.