Bangladesh Vaccines

Fast-track vaccine cold-chain assessment and design for mass scale COVID-19 vaccination in Bangladesh.

Project Background

Universal vaccine access is an existing major challenge in low-income countries, mainly due to the lack of robust cold chain networks, which can result in the loss of vaccine potency. Mass vaccination for COVID-19 globally will require a new fast-track approach to assess, re-engineer and build upon available cold-chain logistics assets and systems, to deliver vaccines at an unprecedented scale and speed.  

Based on a data description of the geography and infrastructure of Bangladesh as a case study, we aim to evaluate the capacity and preparedness of Bangladesh’s cold-chain framework for mass scale COVID-19 vaccination, and assist policymakers in defining optimised, sustainable interventions and legacy opportunities.  

Research Questions 

Our objectives are: 

  1. Evaluating the context and resilience of cold-chains and resources in Bangladesh, collecting primary data for a robust assessment of the cold chain capacity and gaps;  
  2. Developing a bottom-up whole system approach building upon existing logistics infrastructure, and distribution systems for mass scale COVID-19 vaccination including modal shifts;  
  3. Developing a cost-benefit analysis framework for the bottom-up (vaccine) systems model;  
  4. Assessing different intervention scenarios for mass-scale COVID-19 vaccination preparedness, and helping shape the country's immunisation strategies and priorities; 
  5. Informing policymakers and other key stakeholders, including Monetary Financial Institutions about the cost-effective intervention alternatives for cold-chain development for mass-scale vaccination for COVID-19, which may be useful for future emergency or disasters;  
  6. Disseminating learnings to other countries, including methodology, to assess their requirements and to simulate best options for creating sustainable temperature-controlled supply-chains for health and medical supplies in epidemics and natural disasters 


The Centre for Logistics and Sustainability team are focussed on using agent-based modelling to assess alternative intervention scenarios.  

Agent based models (ABMs) allow consideration of a wide range of scenarios through the ability for entities within a simulation to take decisions based on the observed environment and current state. This approach allows researchers to simulate scenarios and trial interventions that would be too costly to deploy as demonstration pilots in the real world. 

Furthermore, agent-based models uniquely develop a detailed description of the whole system and allow the researchers to explore the possibility of unforeseen consequences due to agent decisions, as well as allowing quantification of whole-system resilience. 

Project Lead

Professor Toby Peters - University of Birmingham  

Co-investigators/ PhDs/ RAs 


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)