At the risk of sounding like we're wearing a puffy shirt, we've got to ask: "What's the deal with that coronavirus vaccine?"
The news this week seems like it's exclusively about the ongoing search for an effective, safe vaccine for COVID-19. Partially because the news keeps changing.
Let's get right to it, shall we?
(Uh oh. Sensing a pattern emerging...)
- The most promising results so far have come from the Oxford / AstraZeneca trials currently underway. "Currently" as of today, because they just resumed after pausing when a severe reaction appeared in one participant.
- The size and length of these tests is crucial, because that's what reveals potential issues and dangers. So the Russian-generated vaccine tested on fewer than 50 people might have just been a lot of talk.
- As people are promised a vaccine and the delays drag on, there will be increasing public and political pressure to end trials early. For what it's worth, though, the leader of Operation Warp Speed promises they'll follow the science.
- Here's the big problem, though: the healthcare supply chain isn't prepared to distribute a vaccine. At the most basic level, there aren't enough freezers.
- It's no wonder that the majority of Americans don't believe we'll have a vaccine by November. So, as people with insight into the healthcare and supply chain industries, we probably have many more months of addressing the misinformation about the vaccine and the disease. (And longer before we can go back outside as normal.)
All of which is to reiterate that "getting back to normal" shouldn't be the goal. We should all be trying to get back to better than normal. This is the time to find out what's not working and fix it. This is the time to take the lessons we've learned and new strategies we've adopted temporarily and put them in place permanently.
More about using the current focus on procurement to implement change in our ongoing interviews with Hays Waldrop of the Council of Supply Chain Executives. Listen to this week's episode below. (Don't worry. We're pretty sure there're no references to 90s sitcoms in it.)