Victorian govt vaccine platform contract with Microsoft triples to $18m

Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

The Victorian government’s contract with Microsoft for its vaccine booking platform has more than tripled in value to just under $18 million, with additional support costs and more training needed for staff.

In early 2021 the state government signed a $5.8 million contract with Microsoft to purchase its Vaccination Registration and Administration Solutions, following a whirlwind five-day tender process at the end of 2020.

This contract originally ran until mid-2021, but after two extensions, it will now come to an end in June this year. The value of the Microsoft contract ballooned to $17.97 million across 18 months.

Microsoft headquarters. Credit: Microsoft

InnovationAus understands the original contract with Microsoft did not cover ongoing support costs, which have now been added on as part of the amendments. The contract has also been extended to cover the entirety of the booster rollout and vaccinations for five to 11 year olds.

The additional costs also relate to a vast increase in the number of vaccination sites included on the platform, and more user training for public sector staff.

The platform provided to the Victorian government by Microsoft covers vaccination registration, scheduling of appointments, automatic replenishment of supplies and the tracking and tracing of prescriptions and deliveries, using data and artificial intelligence solutions.

The platform includes an app that automatically manages logistics for clinicians, allows people in the state to book in to receive the vaccine and links in with other government services to share data.

The booking platform experienced a brief outage when children were added to the vaccination rollout due to an unclear issue, but this did not last for more than a few days.

The Microsoft platform now includes 80 pop-up and neighbourhood vaccination sites, and bookings for Victorians across age groups, vaccine broads and interval dose.

Microsoft Australia managing director Steven Worrall last year said the company’s platform had been “pivotal” to the vaccine rollout in Victoria, providing much more than just a booking system.

“The solution has helped Victoria optimise citizen experience throughout registration, vaccination and adverse event follow-up and supported the Department and Health services to coordinate vaccinate logistics and undertake phased scheduling of clinics based on highly complex supply and demand patterns,” Mr Worrall said.

“Helping to ensure these steps can be done safely and transparently by using advanced analytics and in-built reporting capabilities, the solution also provides enhanced follow up for those vaccinated. Importantly, this same information is made available to clinicians at the time of vaccination through a Power App in real time.”

Late last year the New South Wales government announced it had brought in ServiceNow on a $6.3 million contract to replace the state’s in-house vaccine booking system with its own platform.

The federal government brought in an Australian company, HealthEngine, to develop a Commonwealth vaccine booking system on a contract worth $4 million.

These contracts combined still pale in comparison to Microsoft’s deal with the Victorian government. Victoria is the only state to have brought in the US tech giant to provide its vaccination management software.

Microsoft’s vaccination platform is in use in a number of states in the US.

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