Blog / SPOT Satellite 2-Way Messaging and Enhanced Mapping Aids Critical Vaccine Supply Chain Management

SPOT Satellite 2-Way Messaging and Enhanced Mapping Aids Critical Vaccine Supply Chain Management

The start of 2021 brought with it an increasing scramble to procure and distribute the Covid 19 vaccines to pandemic stricken populations around the world. Complex transportation and supply chain logistic plans are in place to distribute the vaccines adhering to strict cold storage protocols. In Quebec, the first phase vaccine plan includes distribution to populations in remote regions of the province, requiring long distance transportation strategies with cold storage.
To achieve the goal of maintaining vaccine integrity during transport, and ensuring remote health centres are prepared to quickly receive and vaccinate priority groups, officials are using SPOT satellite communications devices with 2-way messaging capability and enhanced mapping services (SPOT Mapping Enterprise level) to help manage and track the crucial shipments throughout the transportation process.

SPOT satellite devices operate over Globalstar’s fully modernized satellite network, completely independent of cellular communications. This is of crucial importance as many areas along the transportation routes to remote health offices do not have reliable cell signals. Dead zones anywhere along the shipment routes would carry the risk of interrupting the cold storage chain. Considering the importance of these shipments, the SPOT X Satellite Messenger is ensuring reliable 2-way communications and enhanced tracking and mapping capability at all times. This enables personnel to provide regular schedule and shipment updates to officials, automated online mapping in near real time, ensure redundancy communications options in case of an emergency, as well as enable reliable communications for drivers throughout the journey.

With SPOT enhanced mapping services, automatic check-ins are provided to managers approximately every 45 minutes with the vaccine transportation team providing vaccine temperature readings to ensure cold storage protocols are being met. The SPOT X tracking and enhanced mapping features are also being used to provide tracking points every 5 minutes along the journey. The tracking points are being shared through SPOT Mapping Shared Views with key management staff so that a near real time location of the shipments can be quickly accessed and used for updates to key personnel.

To best prepare the health administrators at each location for receiving the vaccines, Geofences (a virtual perimeter around a location) were set-up using the Premium and Enterprise options of SPOT Mapping services.  When a transportation team crosses the perimeter threshold, an automated alert is sent to a distribution list at the receiver’s end providing advance warning of their arrival. The alert is also sent to the vaccine management team so they will know that the specific shipment is nearing its destination.

SPOT satellite communications solutions are proving to be a valuable end-to-end communications tool in Quebec’s efforts to respond to the Covid 19 pandemic. To learn more about SPOT, visit