„Routine immunization with blockchain“ was the name of one of the winning projects of the MIT COVID-19 Challenge: Latin America vs COVID-19, which seeks to guarantee the distribution of the future coronavirus vaccine in Latin America using the Blockchain technology.

José Antonio Feregrino Lomelín, participated and won the international competition, organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a virtual hackaton that seeks to develop innovative solutions that can help address the crisis of COVID-19.

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At least 5,000 people applied to the MIT COVID-19 Challenge: Latin America vs COVID-19
However, it was not an easy path. Feregrino Lomelin managed to be one of the thousand people – out of more than five thousand who applied for the competition – who went on to the final phase of the competition.

Last June, the winners of the international challenge were announced, in which students, academics and scholars from all over Latin America participated. The aim was to address key problems in sectors such as health, economics, communication or the humanities. And thus develop solutions, including concepts, prototypes and a preliminary vision of their implementation in the framework of the health emergency caused by the coronavirus.

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What is the MIT Covid-19 Challenge?
COVID-19 Challenge is a series of virtual hackatons. During these hackatons, multidisciplinary teams collaborated to develop innovative solutions that can help address the COVID-19 crisis. They are focused on connecting teams with the Bitcoin Evolution tools and resources needed to develop solutions that their partners can implement. After each event, the selected teams have the opportunity to bring their solutions to life with the support of those partners.

What happens after the vaccine is delivered?
When the Covid-19 vaccine is ready, one of the largest medical journeys in human history will be undertaken. This entire supply chain will have to be operated all the way to the end user.

According to UNICEF, a high percentage of the world’s vaccines are wasted in the shipping process. In this sense, Feregrino argues that:

„The idea of this proposal is to have a perfectly designed plan for the distribution of the vaccine, for when it is discovered and not waste time in getting it to everyone in a fair way“.

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Tonatiuh Delgado and Peruvian doctor Maria Rosario joined the project
After presenting their project, Tonatiuh Delgado, a student of the Internal Medicine specialty at the University Center of Health Sciences of the University of Guadalajara, Jalisco, and Peruvian doctor María Rosario, who has focused her efforts on fighting the Human Papilloma Virus, joined them.

José Antonio presented the project „Routine immunization with blockchain“, which consists of ensuring the supply chain of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine up to the end user, guaranteeing traceability, fairness and transparency in the supply of the drug, eliminating possible acts of corruption that could occur in the shipping process that could limit the coverage of the vaccine.

The project monitors how the vaccine is coming, in complete temperature conditions, packaging, tracking through GPS and QR codes.

In addition, the blockchain distributes information through different computers, and this guarantees that no one will tamper with it. This fights possible corruption that could occur when distributing the vaccines.

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However, when the vaccine is applied, it can be located by GPS and the authenticity of the vaccine can be checked. This has followed a process of transparency and biosecurity, which guarantees that the end user receives the authentic vaccine and a safe medicine. With this it will be possible to avoid any theft in the supply chain and apply it to other medicines to avoid pirate drugs and corruption, detailed Tonatiuh Delgado for the magazine of ANUIES.

Tonatiuh hopes that his project can be implemented, as he believes it can be a great security tool that should be acquired by various institutions.