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Case Study
  • Healthcare
  • Open Access

Statistical Engineering to Stabilize Vaccine Supply

Publication:
Quality Engineering
Date:
April 2012
Issue:
Volume 24 Issue 2
Pages:
pp. 227-240
Author(s):
O'Neill, Julia; Atkins, George; Curbison, Dan; Flak, Betsy; Lucas, James M.; Metzger, Dana; Morse, Lindsay; Shah, Tejal; Steinmetz, Thomas; Van Citters, Kathleen; Wiener, Matthew C.; Wingerd, Byron; Yourey, Anthony
Organization(s):
Merck, West Point, PA, Merck, Boulder, CO, J. M. Lucas and Associates, Wilmington, DA, McNeil, Fort Washington, PA, Merck, Rahway, NJ, SAS JMP, Cary, NC

Abstract

Reliable vaccine supply is a critical public health concern. Inthis case study, statistical engineering was applied to a complex problemin vaccine production. Statistical techniques ranging from simple graphicsto sophisticated time series and variance components models were neededto identify root causes. Custom solutions and monitoring methods weredeveloped to insure long-term success. Stability of the vaccine producthas been improved; long-term variability has been reduced by one thirdso far, with additional improvements underway. The stability of other vaccinescould be improved by applying the same analysis, standardization,and monitoring approaches.

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