Optimizing vaccine distribution networks in low and middle-income countries

by   Yuwen Yang, et al.

Vaccination has been proven to be the most effective method to prevent infectious diseases. However, there are still millions of children in low and middle-income countries who are not covered by routine vaccines and remain at risk. The World Health Organization's Expanded Programme on Immunization (WHO-EPI) was designed to provide universal childhood vaccine access for children across the world and in this work, we address the design of the distribution network for WHO-EPI vaccines. In particular, we formulate the network design problem as a mixed integer program (MIP) and present a new algorithm for typical problems that are too large to be solved using commercial MIP software. We test the algorithm using data derived from four different countries in sub-Saharan Africa and show that the algorithm is able to obtain high-quality solutions for even the largest problems within a few minutes.



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