We are entering a world in which cyber disruptions easily become supply chain disruptions, and where supply chains for hardware and software create new cyber risks. Managing these will demand digital-era solutions, including updating tools, regulations, and reporting requirements.
After the Cold War, U.S. logistics planners moved away from a focus on effectiveness to a focus on efficiency in the sense that little is left idle for significant periods and that commodities are delivered at minimum cost. The ability of the system to support the joint force in the event of major conflict is at best untested and could be problematic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that rapid innovation in the face of public health emergencies is possible. In only 15 months, 15 vaccines have been approved or authorized for use in various parts of the world. What thinking is required to support uniform rapid rollout for future public health emergencies?
Pulling the UK COVID-19 vaccination program together was an immense logistical and technical effort. Had it not been for the working practices mandated by the lockdown, it would have been even more difficult. What changed over the pandemic to allow this to happen?
The many pandemic-related shortages that occurred in the United States and elsewhere provide a clear warning. Serious supply-chain vulnerabilities exist. We need to learn much more about this potential threat to national security.
The technological advances of recent decades that have made supply networks drastically more efficient, valuable, and essential to every element of our daily lives have also created a highly interdependent, largely unsecured portfolio of potential attack surfaces.
Lessons from the pandemic will be sorted through for years. But one thing seems very clear: The United States is not ready in a policy or infrastructure or even physical-capacity sense to respond to major shocks to its supply chains.
Actively seeking out people with lots of contacts for vaccination could bring the epidemic under control much more quickly than vaccinating people at random. Vaccinating just 15% of the population would be enough to crush the epidemic—so long as it was the right 15%.
The health systems behind the vaccine rollout are attempting to create order from chaos, sometimes with mixed results. Rather than relying on on-the-fly decisionmaking, state authorities should consider turning to game theory as a tool that could be the key to more efficient, faster vaccine distribution.
The United States is waiting to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and millions of doses wait for arms. Policymakers at the national, state, and local levels have been stockpiling the shots for many reasons. While supply ramps up, policymakers could push to deliver vaccine to people instead of freezers.
Pennsylvania state and county health departments have a number of options that could speed the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to make sure Pennsylvania residents at high risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes are vaccinated as soon as possible.
The disorganized public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States helped ensure that the nation led the world in infections nearly from the beginning of the pandemic. With vaccines now becoming available, are we over the problem? Not necessarily.
As the first COVID-19 vaccines are being administered across the United States, countless questions have arisen about what comes next. Is one vaccine better than another? Can the United States both speed up inoculation and overcome some people's hesitance to get the shot? RAND experts offer insights into the historic vaccine rollout.