The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented pace and scale of innovation in vaccine development. Since COVID-19 was first recognised as a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization on 30 January 2020, in a matter of only 15 months, as of early June 2021, 15 vaccines have been approved or authorised for use by regulatory bodies in various parts of the world. During this time, more than 2.1 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally, with approximately 900 million people receiving at least one dose.

However, rapid vaccine rollout has not happened uniformly across the world. Some countries have demonstrated early success with the pace of rollout, as a proportion of their total population (e.g. Israel, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Chile, Bahrain, Serbia, United States [although with variability across states]). Others have shown slower gains but later accelerated their efforts (e.g. Mongolia, Canada and much of Western Europe, including Germany, France, and Italy) and some, as of 6 June 2021, are still lagging behind (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, India, Lebanon, Uganda).

What factors have contributed to such varied experiences? And what can we learn from these factors to assist with future rapid rollout efforts, including in the context of other public health emergencies and looking beyond vaccines alone?

Rapid rollout is a wide-scale systemic challenge and one for which we need better evidence to inform future actions. Based on RAND Europe research on healthcare innovation more widely, public health and related practical experience, this thought piece shares a roadmap for thinking through potentially important determinants of a country's ability to support the rapid rollout of life-saving innovations at pace and scale.

Read the full article about rollout of scalable healthcare practices by Robert J. Romanelli, Michael Whitmore, Sonja Marjanovic at RAND Corporation.