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Connecticut Hospitals Race To Secure Cold Storage For Pfizer Vaccine

John Amis

Ten Connecticut hospitals have the cold storage facilities required to handle Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, when it becomes available. That vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius.

Kathy Kudish manages immunization for the state Department of Public Health. She said a survey finds that the 10 hospitals are part of healthcare networks that have the ability to move the vaccine amongst their sites and manage the process to vaccinate their staff.

“Several additional hospitals have indicated intent to purchase ultra-cold storage. Five hospitals indicated that they do not have access to an ultra-cold unit. Planning is underway with all the hospitals to work through access and capacity,” Kudish said.

Kudish spoke during a meeting of Governor Ned Lamont’s vaccine advisory group. Distribution of the Pfizer vaccine is expected to begin after FDA fast-tracks the approval next month.

Connecticut anticipates it will initially get about 200,000 doses. Frontline healthcare workers would be the first to be vaccinated. Another COVID-19 vaccine by Moderna is also pending FDA approval. That vaccine does not require such extreme cold storage. Both vaccines have to be administered in two doses.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.