While we continue to work towards the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccines across the globe, it’s important that we consider the real hero of vaccination in 2021: dry ice. A well-known tool in the food industry, dry ice has provided an unparalleled resource in the successful transportation, movement and roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine all over the world.
While the FDA and the giants of Pfizer, Moderna and a group of other work groups continue to develop and approve the COVID vaccines, logistical experts and purveyors of dry ice have stealthily been working behind the scenes to ensure the vaccines can safely be transported and get to as many people as possible, across the globe. We spoke to the Cold Jet Dry Ice team on how dry ice works and how it has become the backbone of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in 2021.
What Is Dry Ice?
Dry is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2), a molecule consisting of a single carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. Colourless, odorless and condensed, dry ice is commonly used in food production storage and cooling.
Dry ice is commonplace in a variety of industry food production organisations, including airline catering and the manufacturing industry. Dry ice works to control temperatures, prevent bacteria from growing and developing, and reducing the risk of food and other elements of becoming spoiled. Dry is FDA, USDA, and EPA approved for the use around food and in commercial kitchens.
How Does Dry Ice Help Vaccines?
As dry ice is a core component of keeping products and elements refrigerated and cool, dry ice has become a clear requirement of storing, transporting and keeping vaccines fresh. According to Pfizer, the vaccine must be stored at 112 Fahrenheit, which is ideal for dry ice use. Dry ice will be able to provide refrigeration temperatures for up to 30 days and can hold refrigeration at room temperature for up to 12 hours. At the current time, reports have indicated that dry ice orders are spiking enormously and we’re looking at a six week backlog to buy medical grade dry ice freezers for the vaccine. We’re not surprised.