How A.I. Can Speed Up the Covid-19 Vaccination Drive
Ensuring the efficiency of that vaccination program is essential because demand is likely to outstrip supply globally for some time and, particularly in low-income countries, each dose will be precious. Concerns about cold storage will be an issue in many places, even with vaccines such as AstraZeneca’s that can be kept at normal refrigerator temperatures. “We can’t afford to throw away 30 doses because we sent them to the wrong place,” Fels says. “But if we allocate the vaccine strictly according to population we are going to severely under-allocate to some sites and severely over-allocate to others.”
To figure out demand, he says, macro-eye‘s A.I. software looks at data sets that include geospatial data, especially satellite imagery, information on the number of mobile phone users in a given area, government and health system records if they are available, and sometimes even social media posts.