The development of the first highly effective vaccines for COVID-19 is hailed as a “scientific miracle.” That’s because these vaccines were created for an unknown virus in just a few months. Not long ago, the same feat would have required several years.
However, it wasn’t so much a miracle as it was the advancement of science in many different areas. That includes such capabilities as genomic sequencing and big data analysis to new methods for working with microscopic biologics on a molecular scale.
It was these kinds of tools that changed the game for the science of vaccine development.
But the tremendous accomplishment of creating the COVID vaccines proved to be only half of the “miracle” that was needed. The other half of the formula was mass distribution.
Even the best vaccine in the world is useless if it can’t be administered into the arms of millions of people at a very rapid rate to stay ahead of a virus with an uncanny ability to spread exponentially among a vulnerable population.
Here again, it was one particular advancement in technology that saved the day. It’s called blockchain. It proved to be exactly the remedy that was needed at just the right time in history.
In simple terms, blockchain is a method of recording information that cannot be hacked, altered, changed or cheated upon in any way. It is a kind of “digital ledger” for any transaction that needs to be duplicated for distribution across vast networks of computer systems and databases.
Furthermore, blockchain is completely decentralized. That means no one entity can own the data recorded with blockchain. It also means that data can be shared across all platforms and by anyone without fear of anyone causing trouble or messing with the data. It is 100% reliable. Blockchain is “read-only” information, although information can be added to it. But if someone does add information, the party that did so and all ancillary particulars are permanently recorded for all to see.
In short, this makes blockchain a groundbreaking tool for large-scale distribution efforts. It is tailor-made for the unique requirement of distributing safe, effective –- and completely trustworthy –- vaccines to hundreds of millions of people in each nation.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have special requirements in that they need to be kept at extremely cold temperatures to maintain efficacy. Blockchain is a superb way to tag each dose of the vaccines to ensure they are “fresh” and have been maintained in cold storage until the time they are used.
It all makes blockchain a key weapon in battling the COVID-19 crisis.