The SHAPE Working Group in Vaccine Delivery – Strategies Toward Process Improvement


Vaccination against preventable diseases is one of the greatest achievements in public health, and the US has a system that enables routine access to immunization, particularly for children, which is the foundation of that success. However, the logistics of vaccine delivery – from transport to storage and handling and vaccine preparation, administration, and documentation – was identified by the US Office of Inspector General (OIG) and others as an Achilles’ heel of the US vaccination system.


Ardelis Health wanted to evaluate if issues in vaccine delivery were present that had not yet been addressed. However, the vaccine community is diverse and includes providers, state and local Vaccines for Children (VFC) program managers and departments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), advocacy groups, and the federal government. Developing a strategy to bring the diverse vaccine community together to address potential issues in vaccine delivery was a major challenge.


In concert with the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), now known as, Ardelis Health established the SHAPE (Storage, Handling, Administration, and Preparation Experts) Working Group. The goal of SHAPE was to bring continuous process improvement to the vaccine delivery process.


A series of meetings was held under the auspices of SHAPE, and the net result was a national dialogue regarding continuous process improvement in vaccine delivery in the US.

  • SHAPE1: Stakeholders identified current issues in vaccine delivery
    • Attendees: national policy makers, vaccinating clinicians, federal and state health organization representatives
  • SHAPE2: A growing group of stakeholders proposed solutions to issues identified in SHAPE1
    • Attendees: SHAPE1 plus a broadening pool of vaccine constituencies, including buyers, manufacturers, and distributers
  • SHAPE3: A global group explored strategic implementation of solutions proposed in SHAPE2
    • Attendees: SHAPE2 plus global health constituencies and a wider array of governmental and non-governmental US public health representatives
  • Regional roundtables were held to vet ideas derived from SHAPE1 to SHAPE3

Tan LJ. SHAPE Vaccine Delivery Working Group. Conference report. From refrigerator to arm: issues in vaccination delivery. Vaccine. 2014;32(21):2389–2393.


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