Friday, November 13, 2020

Pfizer's vaccine storage plan

Via the New York Times, this interesting set of facts about the COVID-19 vaccine: 
...Pfizer is making the vaccine at facilities in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Puurs, Belgium. The doses distributed in the United States will mostly come from Kalamazoo. In Kalamazoo, vaccines will go into vials (five doses per vial). Vials will go into trays (195 vials per tray). Trays will go into specially designed cooler-type boxes (up to five trays per box). Pfizer plans to have about 100,000 of the coolers by the end of this month and more than double that total by March.

The reusable boxes, each toting between 1,000 and 5,000 doses and stuffed with dry ice, are equipped with GPS-enabled sensors. Pfizer employees will be able to monitor the boxes’ locations and temperatures as FedEx and UPS transport them to hospitals and clinics nationwide.

The boxes “will have eyes on them at all times,” Ms. Alcorn said.

Representatives of UPS and FedEx said they had been planning to play a major role in distributing vaccines and were ready to go.

Once the Pfizer coolers reach their destinations, hospitals or pharmacies will have a few choices of how to store the vaccine. The easiest option is using ultracold freezers, but not many sites have them. Otherwise, the facilities can stash the trays in conventional freezers for up to five days. Or they can keep the vials in the cooler for up to 15 days, so long as they replenish the dry ice and don’t open it more than twice a day.

Good times for dry ice manufacturers! 

1 comment:

  1. "Pfizer plans to have about 100,000 of the coolers by the end of this month and more than double that total by March." So best case scenario is ~15 million doses by March with two doses per vaccination. Here's hoping that the ramp up in production comes soon and that other vaccine trials have similarly positive results.


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