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Why does the COVID-19 vaccine need to be stored in a freezer?

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‘As soon as we open up the freezer, we solely have three minutes through which to tug the product out, after which now we have to shut the freezer doorways.’

CLEVELAND — As soon as the COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Northeast Ohio following emergency utilization approval from the FDA, the Cleveland Clinic shall be among the many first areas to obtain a cargo of the pictures.

The Clinic, which has been chosen as certainly one of 10 pre-positioned vaccine websites in Ohio, shared an replace Friday on what the vaccination storage course of entails – and it’s a really delicate course of. 

Right here’s a Q&A session that particulars the vaccination freezer farm procedures with Jeffrey Rosner, RPh, Govt Director of Pharmacy Sourcing and Provide Chain Analytics in Cleveland Clinic’s Division of Provide Chain Administration.

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Describe the freezers and why they’re wanted?

“Each the Pfizer product and Moderna product require particular storage. Pfizer requires ultra-cold temperatures, -80 levels Celsius, which is round -100 levels Fahrenheit. Whereas the Moderna product requires normal freezer circumstances.”

What are among the logistical challenges?

“This product is extremely unstable, particularly the Pfizer product. As soon as that product is available in, now we have to get it into the ultra-cold freezers as quickly as attainable – and that’s really the simple half as a result of what occurs later is now we have to go forward and pull the product to ship it to our inoculation areas. As soon as we open up the freezer, we solely have three minutes through which to tug the product out, after which now we have to shut the freezer doorways. The freezer doorways should stay shut for 2 hours. So we have to pull that product shortly, get it into fridges after which, in the end, get it off to our inoculation areas.”

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What number of freezers do you will have?

“We’ve 16 freezers, some which can be set at ultra-cold temperatures, -80 levels for Pfizer and a few which can be set at -20 levels for Moderna. Moreover, now we have some extra freezers for redundancy in case of any system failure.”

What occurs when you obtain the cargo?

“As soon as the product is available in from Pfizer, we are going to instantly open it up and test a thermal scanning system that Pfizer has embedded within the transport case to guarantee that the product integrity has been maintained upon receipt. We’ll instantly open the transport container, confirm the counts to guarantee that we acquired the suitable quantity of product and instantly put that into the suitable freezer.”

When do you anticipate receiving the cargo?

“We’re certainly one of 10 pre-positioned websites in Ohio, so we anticipate receiving the product as quickly because the FDA authorizes the emergency use.”

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine shall be on its strategy to Cleveland Sunday

As soon as vaccinations are permitted to start, pictures will initially be restricted to high-risk populations.

“Because the FDA-approved vaccines will not be broadly accessible for the general public till a number of months into 2021, we should all proceed taking necessary precautions to assist gradual the unfold of the virus,” officers with the Cleveland Clinic famous in a press launch. “This consists of carrying a masks, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, social distancing and limiting gatherings.”

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