How Dry Ice Became One of the Newest COVID Heroes

Dec. 1, 2020
With the promise of a coronavirus vaccine becoming closer to a reality, the newest hero in the war against COVID is a well known tool in the food industry: Dry Ice.

With the promise of a coronavirus vaccine becoming closer to a reality, the newest hero in the war against COVID is a well known tool in the food industry: dry ice.

While the FDA, Pfizer, Moderna, and a host of other groups work to develop and approve a COVID-19 vaccine, logistical specialists and purveyors of dry ice are working behind the scenes to make sure the vaccines can get to as many people as quickly as possible.

Dry ice is often a mainstay at food production facilities. It helps control temperatures, prevent bacteria growth, and reduces the odds of products being spoiled. It's also FDA, USDA, and EPA-approved to use around food.

And what's good for the food is good for the pharma. According to reports, Pfizer's vaccine must be stored at -112 degrees Fahrenheit, which is prompting a rush on dry ice.

In fact, that same report indicates dry ice orders are spiking there's a six-week backlog to buy $15,000 medical-grade ultracold freezers.

Yesterday's announcement that a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna was 94.5% effective gave an extra dose of promise. That it is stable at regular refrigerator temperatures for 30 days and is able to be held at room temperature for up to 12 hours took a slight edge off the nerves and urgency.

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