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Title:Strengthening the Sustainability of the Pediatric Vaccine Supply by Using Operations Research Methods
Author(s):Proano M., Ruben A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sheldon Jacobson
Department / Program:Industrial Engineering
Discipline:Industrial Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Operations Research
Abstract:Despite pediatric vaccines are considered the worlds' most cost-effective public health weapon, the global vaccine supply is weak, and its sustainability cannot be guaranteed. Vaccine manufacturing processes are complex, lengthy, prone to interruptions, and unable to cope with sudden changes in vaccine demand. Increasing research and regulatory costs have reduced the available number of vaccine manufacturers. Consequently, vaccine supply interruptions are more likely to occur, causing shortages that can affect the proper immunization of children. The effects of vaccine shortages are more critical in developing countries, where health care systems are often unable to mitigate improper immunization. Changes in the vaccine market are also creating a product line differentiation between the vaccines used in industrialized and developing countries, reducing economies of scale that help purchase vaccines for poor nations. Vaccine manufacturers are now using a larger fraction of their restricted production capacities to make new more effective and expensive combination vaccines, which are not affordable to developing countries. Consequently, the financial interest to develop vaccines for diseases affecting developing countries is decreasing. Between 1992 and 1993, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, WHO, UNICEF, and The Albert Sabin Vaccine Institute independently gathered experts from all over the world who agreed on several strategies for preventing vaccine supply problems. Two of those strategies included strengthening available measures to react against vaccine supply interruptions, and also making the vaccine market more attractive to manufacturers. This dissertation applies Operations Research methods to formulate and solve problems that could help to implement these two pivotal strategies. First, the problem of establishing stockpile levels for the routinely recommended pediatric vaccines in the United States is considered. The problem is addressed assuming that public health officials are interested in minimizing the risk of a potential vaccine shortage due to a random supply interruption. Next, the problem is generalized to assume that public health officials have also multiple competing attributes when determining the vaccine stockpile levels. Finally, this dissertation presents the problem of finding the optimal tiered-pricing of combinational vaccines that would allow manufacturers to be profitable while providing affordable vaccines to all markets.
Issue Date:2008
Description:116 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337892
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2008

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