Introduced to minimize open vial wastage, single-dose vaccine vials require more storage space and therefore may affect vaccine supply chains (i.e., the series of steps and processes involved in distributing vaccines from manufacturers to patients). We developed a computational model of Thailand's Trang province vaccine supply chain to analyze the effects of switching from a ten-dose measles vaccine presentation to each of the following: a single-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (which Thailand is currently considering) or a single-dose measles vaccine. While the Trang province vaccine supply chain would generally have enough storage and transport capacity to accommodate the switches, the added volume could push some locations' storage and transport space utilization close to their limits. Single-dose vaccines would allow for more precise ordering and decrease open vial waste, but decrease reserves for unanticipated demand. Moreover, the added disposal and administration costs could far outweigh the costs saved from preventing open vial wastage.
Lee BY, Assi TM, Rookkapan K, Connor DL, Rajgopal J, Sornsrivichai V, Brown ST, Welling JS, Norman BA, Chen SI, Bailey RR, Wiringa AE, Wateska AR, Jana A, Van Panhuis WG, Burke DS. (2011). Replacing the measles ten-dose vaccine presentation with the single-dose presentation in Thailand. Vaccine, 29(21)