Booz Allen Hamilton

Transforming the Vaccine Management Supply Chain


Photo left to right: Heidi Grady, Senior Associate; Benjamin Herring, Lead Associate; Shannon Wolfe, Associate; Linda Wendt, Associate; and Donovan Sharkey, Senior Consultant, helped the CDC develop the award-winning Vaccine Tracking System used to manage the vaccine supply chain.

In 1994, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Vaccines for Children program to address a simple but powerful goal: to provide federal funding so that all children—not just those who can afford them—could have access to crucial recommended childhood immunizations. A decade later, the program’s size, cost, and complexity had grown exponentially—and its outdated technology, inefficient processes, and sprawling supply chain were constraining perfor-mance. After a critical flu vaccine shortage in 2004, the CDC launched a 10-year initiative to overhaul the program so that Vaccines for Children could fulfill its mission more efficiently and respond to increased public concern about pandemic outbreaks and bioterrorism.

The CDC initially commissioned Booz Allen to conduct the first-ever top-to-bottom review of the program’s operating model—a process that led to a comprehensive suite of recommendations to update IT systems, adopt commercial supply chain best practices, create efficiencies, and bring more transparency into the $3.7 billion annual budget for purchasing and distributing vaccines. Working side by side with our clients, our cross-functional team of experts in IT, analytics, and strategy/organization drew on its collective skills and experience across health, civil, and defense markets to create and implement the Vaccine Management Business Improvement Project (VMBIP).

As part of this project, Booz Allen supported the CDC with development and deployment of the award-winning Vaccine Tracking System (VTrckS), an innovative, nationwide Web-based IT solution for publicly funded vaccine ordering/forecasting and budget/contract management. As a secure, recoverable system, VTrckS dramatically enhances the CDC’s ability to manage the vaccine supply chain in real time, while streamlining manual processes and data entry. With VTrckS deployment, lead time between vaccine orders and shipment to providers was reduced from up to four weeks in 1994 to four business days or less today.

Over the past 10 years, Booz Allen has helped transform the CDC’s publicly funded vaccine management model from decentralized inefficiency into a centralized management system that enables better oversight. By catalyzing dramatic improvements in vaccine order tracking, inventory visibility, fiscal/dosage accountability, and safety response capability across the supply chain, VMBIP has driven a dramatic improvement in our nation’s ability to prevent, mitigate, and respond to public health crises.