When COVID-19 vaccines first became available in the United States, the challenge of getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible fell into the hands of states. Social Finance worked with the state of Connecticut to support the data analytics capacity of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Team. As part of this enhanced data analytics team, Social Finance worked with the state to design a method for establishing predictable supply levels for COVID-19 vaccine providers and leveraged Social Finance’s and the Department of Public Health (DPH)’s analytical expertise to execute on Connecticut’s mission to vaccinate individuals as quickly and equitably as possible.
Since analytics alone are not enough to ensure the success of a program or initiative, Social Finance and DPH achieved measurable impact by combining quantitative data insights, intensive and customized support for vaccination providers, and coordination of cross-sector partnerships on priority vaccination campaigns. We supported Connecticut’s vaccine rollout by:
1. Providing stability in allocations
We partnered with DPH to design a baseline allocation model to provide all core COVID-19 vaccine partners with a weekly guaranteed allocation, giving vaccine providers much-needed inventory stability and the ability to plan clinics further in advance while retaining sufficient flexibility to support other state vaccination priorities.
2. Bolstering inventory management capacity
We helped under-resourced local health departments and community health centers manage their vaccine inventory and efficiently plan administration of doses.
3. Fostering cross-sector partnerships
We helped to define and coordinate a process enabling vaccine providers to effectively collaborate with educational, cultural, and religious institutions on mass vaccination campaigns, particularly for K-12 teachers and childcare providers.
During the COVID-19 pandemic—with infection rates soaring and vaccine supply limited—this support was essential to successful vaccine delivery. Social Finance’s support helped the state of Connecticut rank in the top 5 states in the country throughout the vaccine rollout—based on the percentage of the population covered with a COVID-19 vaccine—reflecting the effectiveness of this approach.
The combination of rigorous analytics and tailored support to vaccine providers helped to ensure an equitable and efficient vaccine rollout in Connecticut. We hope that the insights gleaned from this work can be applied by others in future public health responses. The baseline allocation model and inventory management best practices should prove useful in the event of another high-volume, supply-constrained vaccination effort, such as COVID-19 booster shots or other outbreak response activities. Local health departments, community health centers, hospitals, pharmacies, and educational institutions—with some working together for the first time to deliver COVID-19 vaccines—are now better prepared to collaborate on future public health priorities in service of Connecticut residents. We are proud of the contributions of this work to building a stronger, more resilient public health infrastructure in the state of Connecticut.