PODCAST: Boost in vaccine supply could alleviate some distribution complexities


Pfizer and Moderna on Tuesday announced they have solved coronavirus vaccine manufacturing challenges and promise a significant increase in supply in the coming weeks.

Dr. Julie Swann is the Department Head of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University and has studied such health care supply systems. She told KCBS Radio on Tuesday’s "Ask an Expert" that she believes vaccine makers will be able to increase their supplies, even though it may "take them a little while."

Currently, Pfizer is producing four to five million doses per week, with a goal of 13 million per week.

She pointed out that the "last mile distribution" - which involves distribution, appointments and actual inoculation - is a much more complex part of the supply chain than most seem to realize because it also involves bringing patients back for their second doses, as is required with both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines.

But not everyone’s "last mile" is the same.

"In rural areas,