Outreach sessions are immunization services in which health workers immunize children in their communities, are needed to improve vaccine coverage in rural areas of developing countries. These services face very high open vial wastage, which happens when vaccine doses stored in a vial are not used within a specified time after the vial is opened. Such open vial wastage is directly caused by the choice of vial size used and the session size (number of pariticipants attending an outreach session) for which the outreach sessions are planned. The open vial wastage decreases with increase in session size. However, controlling the session size is not practical.

Hence, this thesis proposes reducing open vial wastage through the choice of vial size. The choice of a single dose vial reduces the likelihood of open vial vaccine wastage; but it increases the vaccine purchase cost per dose compared to that of larger vial sizes. This study proposes two methodologies, based on stochastic optimization and binary integer programming models. Both methods compute the optimal vial size and the reorder point to be used by a vaccine store that plans for immunization sessions in a developing country, while dealing with the tradeoff between vaccine purchase cost and the open vial wastage, as a function of vial size. The proposed methodologies are used to recommend the optimal vial size to be used in Bangladesh for Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine and Measles vaccine. Additionally this thesis applies the proposed methodologies to study the effect of session size and vaccine vial size on the open vial wastage.

Finally this thesis suggests how knowing the optimal vial size can result in financial incentives that could be offered to participants of immunization sessions to increase participation of people in immunization sessions.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Vaccines--Economic aspects--Developing countries; Vaccines--Packaging--Research; Supply and demand

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial and Systems Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)


Ruben Proano

Advisor/Committee Member

Mike Hewitt

Advisor/Committee Member

Seshavadhani Kumar


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at RM281 .D43 2011


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