As 2020 wound to a close, Americans were cautiously breathing a sigh of relief, thanks in no small part to the FDA approval and subsequent U.S. rollouts of two vaccinations for COVID-19.
But as we mentioned in earlier blog articles, the requirement for ultra-cold storage presents a unique barrier to a successful vaccine distribution.
NPR recently reported that the Moderna vaccine requires storage and transport at minus four degrees Fahrenheit while the Pfizer version must be kept at an eye-popping minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fortunately, dry ice storage has thus far proven up to the task. Since dry ice pellets are made of carbon dioxide that has been frozen and compressed, they’re plentiful and relatively easy to acquire. As such, Pfizer has developed special packaging (informally known by some as “pizza boxes”) that utilizes dry ice to encase doses for transport to clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.
Among these are Northern Light Health, a statewide network of hospitals located in Maine. As the Portland Press Herald reported, Northern Light’s Mercy Hospital in Portland and Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor received their first shipments on December 14, 2020.
Needless to say, executing a safe and efficient vaccination initiative represents a tall task for hospital officials. Among the myriad complexities are dry ice safety measures to prevent dry ice burns and other dry ice hazards related to exposure.
As the video below shows, Northern Light Health trusts Tempshield® Cryo-Gloves® to protect staff as they move the doses from the “pizza boxes” to the hospital’s deep freezers, which are set to store at minus 113.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tempshield’s Cryo-Gloves are safety certified to meet stringent EU standards for CE Cat. III: EN 511, EN 388, and EN 420. Designed for the handling of cryogenic materials, they offer proven protection for ultra-cold applications down to minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit. This far exceeds the basic requirements for handling dry ice, so hospital staff can go about their crucial work with confidence.
If your organization or business will be directly involved in the handling of COVID-19 vaccines, look to Tempshield for industry-leading cryogenic gloves and face shields, as well as aprons and gaiters.To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-680-2796.