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Connecticut Manufacturer Cold Storage Design Could Help With Vaccine Distribution

Angelo Esslinger from Pixabay

A foam board manufacturer in Connecticut has developed a storage system that can transport coronavirus vaccines at temperatures as low as negative 70 degrees Celsius. The design could help get doses to millions of people.

The two early Coronavirus vaccines need to be kept at below-freezing temperatures — Moderna at minus 20 and Pfizer at minus 70.

Bill VanHorn is sales director at Gilman Brothers manufacturers. He explained how his company’s insulated box insert can keep doses cold for up to 72 hours.

“So the vaccine would go inside this inner box and as it’s put into the box, you’re going to put this inside this transport system. The dry ice filled out throughout all sides of the box and then you have this insulated top that goes over the top,” VanHorn said.

VanHorn said the Army Corps of Engineers approved this design, and the company is not seeking to patent or profit off of it. He said the company alone can make 4,000 storage systems a week.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said that can help get the millions of vaccine doses needed across the globe.

“The next step is to scale up the production of this critical storage mechanism because that’s the best way to get this vaccine out to people and make it available and affordable,” Blumenthal said.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.