Victoria seeks private provider for vaccine platform

Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

Victoria has become the first state in Australia to go to the private market for a COVID-19 vaccination management system as part of a whirlwind four-day tender process, with plans to have a platform ready to use by January.

The state’s Health and Human Services department posted a tender for a COVID-19 vaccination management system last Thursday, with applications closing just five days later on Tuesday.

The selected private contractor will provide cloud-based software to manage the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination, with functionality across different devices and functions including allowing for individuals to book in for a vaccination and temperature checking when the vaccines are being transported.

Tough bugger: Coronavirus management platform sought by Victorian government

“In anticipation of the availability of viable vaccines for COVID-19, the organisation intends to procure and deploy a software solution to support a population-level immunisation program for the state of Victoria,” the tender said.

“Due to the need to have a solution in place should vaccines be available in the early part of 2021, the organisation is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified vendors who have the resources, scale, proven technologies and implementation capabilities to undertake this major state-wide program.”

Victoria is understood to be the first Australian state or territory government to look to the private market for a COVID-19 vaccine management platform.

The tender is only open for four business days, with a “rapid evaluation process” to begin once shortlisted candidates are selected next week. These companies will have to conduct demonstrations of their platforms in early December, with a contract expected to be signed before Christmas.

The tender process opened in the same week that Infosys and Simplus unveiled a COVID-19 vaccine management solution, built on the Salesforce platform and matching much of the criteria listed by the Victorian government.

The Victorian government recently adopted Salesforce technology to reform the state’s contact tracing system for the coronavirus.

It’s unclear whether Infosys has tendered to run the Victorian vaccination platform, but the company has said there has been “strong interest” for it in Australia and New Zealand.

The tender in Victoria is looking for a platform offering inventory management, booking management, consent management, vaccination administration, adverse event management, data extraction and analytics.

The platform will manage stock of the COVID-19 vaccine and provide real-time reviewing of this and the expiry dates of the vaccine. It will allow users to book for the vaccine when it is available, along with consent forms and health screening information, with a QR code then sent to the user.

The platform will feature a web-based, centralised booking system to enable a state-wide call centre and for immunisation providers to manage bookings.

The system will also send a vaccination certification and digital record to users upon receiving the vaccination.

Providers will be required to prove that their platform will be available 99.99 percent of the time, 24-7, and can cater to a minimum of 800 active organisations and 1500 users at the same time. It must be able to deal with 10 million new encounters each year, with an aim for 80 percent of these transactions to take less than three seconds.

The tender also outlines that all data relating to the vaccination platform must be stored in Australia.

The state government is looking to enter a five-year contract with the successful tenderer.

A potential bidder will be Indian digital consultancy giant Infosys with its Vaccine Management System. The platform, built on Salesforce technology, will enable distribution of the vaccine “at speed and scale, safely and responsibly”, the company said.

It will be applicable across the world, with the company to adapt it for local regulations. Its functions include campaign management, supply chain visibility, adverse event monitoring and wellness surveys for users.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that state and federal government agencies are potential users of the system, and it has not yet entered into any contracts but has had “strong interest” in Australia and New Zealand.

Consulting giant Deloitte has also unveiled its own vaccines platform through its GovConnect Salesforce platform.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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