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Monitor the COVID-19 Vaccine in Transit and Beyond

The Wall Street Journal states, "Covid-19 Vaccines Are ‘Liquid Gold’ to Organized Crime, Interpol Says." In this article, learn about unique ways to monitor the vaccine in transit and more.

January 21, 2021 4 minute read

In recent news, we have seen a few examples of the COVID vaccine being at risk for fraud and intentional destruction. While we cannot predict human behavior, we can be sure of two things:

  1. The vaccine is incredibly vulnerable.
  2. The vaccine has exceptionally high visibility.

Vulnerability

Vulnerabilities were created due to cold temperature storage requirements and also from the vaccine's high profile nature, which requires tracking the vaccine and monitoring all interactions.

Visibility

With the 24x7 news cycle, every media outlet in the world is looking for a story to tell about the vaccine, and any small mishap has the potential of going viral. Having recorded video proof of what truly happened could be extremely beneficial.

Vaccines in transit

The U.S. government has come to an agreement with an Icelandic company that created a proprietary temperature-monitoring platform for all of the Pfizer vaccine shipping containers. Fortunately, the temperature monitoring of the vaccine is seemingly taken care of. However, there are still liability concerns over the vaccine's ownership transfers from Pfizer to the provider. There are also other concerns related to the vulnerability and visibility of these vaccines.

Smart camera on house

The benefit of utilizing physical security in transit has never been higher, and the ability to quickly and securely deploy these solutions are necessary. Using the Meraki suite of products can help accomplish both these goals, starting with the Meraki Gateway. The MG21 acts as a cellular gateway by converting LTE signal from a cellular provider to an Ethernet handoff. This Ethernet handoff can then be used to provide connectivity to the Meraki Smart Camera (MV).

The Meraki Smart Camera can be mounted magnetically inside of the transport truck, using a specially designed case housing the camera and a battery backup as needed.

Shipping truck door

Recording video and having the ability to view that video from anywhere, on any device, promotes physical security of the vaccine while in transit, thus providing peace of mind to those charged with its protection.

Meraki offers another product within their suite that can add another layer of security layer: the Meraki Environmental Sensor (MT), which monitors if a door is open or closed. Meraki MT products are battery-powered and obtain connectivity by using the MV as the gateway via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This door open/closed sensor can be placed on the inside of the truck transporting the vaccines.

For example, if a batch of vaccines are scheduled to be delivered to a provider at 5PM, but the door sensor alerts to being opened at 3PM, immediate action can be taken to determine why a person is gaining unauthorized access to the storage area. Also, with proper camera placement inside the truck, all actions will be recorded.

Popup vaccine locations

As state and local governments begin to help distribute these vaccines to the public, popup facilities will be needed, and the ability to physically monitor these locations will be paramount.

Additionally, many pharmacies will be working to ensure the vaccine can be transported to remote communities. Whether they deploy remote units or temporary popup facilities in these communities, the above solution can help to solve many of the obstacles.

Utilizing the Meraki Smart Cameras to monitor the surroundings of popup facilities and providing asset protection for the vaccine storage units inside tents — relying on sensors for additional automated layers of security — overall can greatly enhance protections for these vulnerable items.

Meraki Smart Cameras natively offer motion detection and can send alerts anytime motion is detected near a vaccine storage unit. The video evidence can then be saved and utilized for further analysis and action if appropriate.

The takeaway

While these solutions cannot prevent the events that we have seen in recent news events, they can enhance the vaccine's security and potentially discourage bad actors. At a minimum, they can provide the ability to react more quickly to situations that put the vaccine at risk.  Quick action and video evidence may help reveal whether a vaccine has been compromised.

Contact us to learn more about this solution.

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