faculty in lab
Prof. Julie Drzymalski in the second floor IDEAS Hub in 2019.

After 11 months, even with two vaccines available, a pair of pressing issues prevent a clear end to the COVID-19 pandemic: transparency and trust.

Engineers and scientists rely on systems and processes as a key foundation. Systems engineering creates predictable, testable outcomes to maximize efficiency. It is often used in health care, from improving patient outcomes to customer satisfaction. To be sure, vaccines don't get into waiting arms by themselves, but by a complex, interrelated network of vaccine administration sites, providers, and an informed general public willing to be vaccinated.

As cities like Philadelphia continue to face false starts and backlash from the current vaccine rollout — including Philly's latest vaccine debacle, severing ties with Philly Fighting COVID — it can be instructive to step back and reexamine the system in place with an eye toward rebuilding trust and creating transparency.

Read the full op ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer>