A two-regime analysis of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process

Sharika J. Hegde, Hani Mahmassani, Karen Smilowitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework to evaluate and assess the performance of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process that is sensitive to the unique supply-side and demand-side constraints exhibited in the US vaccine rollout. Design/methodology/approach: A queuing framework that operates under two distinct regimes is formulated to analyze service rates that represent system capacity to vaccinate (under the first regime) and hesitancy-induced throughput (under the second regime). These supply- and hesitancy-constrained regimes form the focus of the present paper, as the former reflects the inherent ability of the nation in its various jurisdictions to mobilize, whereas the latter reflects a critical area for public policy to protect the population’s overall health and safety. Findings: The two-regime framework analysis provides insights into the capacity to vaccinate and hesitancy-constrained demand, which is found to vary across the country primarily by politics and region. The framework also allows analysis of the end-to-end supply chain, where it is found that the ability to vaccinate was likely constrained by last-mile administration issues, rather than the capacity of the manufacturing and transportation steps of the supply chain. Originality/value: This study presents a new framework to consider end-to-end supply chains as dynamic systems that exhibit different regimes because of unique supply- and demand-side characteristics and estimate rollout capacity and underlying determinants at the national, state and county levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-124
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 19 2023


  • COVID-19 vaccines
  • Logistics
  • Multi-regime models
  • Queueing system
  • Supply chain
  • Vaccine hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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