Statistical Engineering to Stabilize Vaccine Supply
- Quality Engineering
- April 2012
- Volume 24 Issue 2
- pp. 227-240
- 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
- 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
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.