Here’s a different kind of marketplace. As Covid-19 vaccine availability grows around the world, it provides an opportunity for traditional marketplaces to offer their software and technology for good. And while it’s unlikely to generate revenue, it could generate terrific goodwill and publicity, and offer genuine service to the community or country where it’s offered.
The cost? Nominal. It’s nothing a programmer couldn’t build out in a day.
Washington state, in the Pacific northwest of the United States, recently rolled out Vaccine Marketplace — a simple and effective process for transferring doses of Covid-19 vaccine from one provider to another, perhaps in a different part of the state. With doses requiring special refrigeration, and some nearing their expiration dates, it’s an important way to make sure none of the precious liquid goes to waste.
The program launched in May, for participants in the state’s Immunization Information System. Healthcare vaccine providers must be participating in the Washington state vaccine program, and fill out certain forms and meet government guidelines for storing and handling the vaccines. In some cases, providers have leftover doses or need small quantities; other providers can use the extra doses or meet those needs.
SheAnne Allen, Covid-19 vaccine director at the state Department of Health, told the newspaper the program is efficient and helps reduce waste. Once a transfer is approved, the providers arrange the logistics themselves, and sometimes the transfers are done within an hour, she said.