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Monterey Bay Aquarium lends ultra-cold freezer for vaccine storage

By Josh Copitch
KSBW

December 31, 2020 — Salinas, CA

The Monterey Bay Aquarium lends its ultra-cold freezer to Natividad Hospital in Salinas to store the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine needs to be stored at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit. With the aquarium freezer, Natividad has been able to store its shipment of the vaccine.

The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived at the hospital on Dec. 17, shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted it emergency use authorization. Based on public health guidance, Natividad is prioritizing those first vaccines for health care workers based on COVID-19 exposure risk.

That’s when the Aquarium stepped up to help its neighbor by loaning an extra freezer that met Pfizer’s specifications. It was delivered to the hospital on Dec. 11, days before Natividad received its first 975 doses of vaccine.

“We planned to hold the vaccine on dry ice, but that would have been a lot of extra work,” said Natividad Assistant Administrator Andrea Rosenberg, who oversees operations for the hospital. “We are very grateful to the Aquarium for our collaboration.” 

While the freezer is on loan to Natividad, the Aquarium has a second freezer to serve all of the Aquarium’s needs.

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Originally published here: https://www.ksbw.com/article/monterey-bay-aquarium-lends-ultra-cold-freezer-for-vaccine-storage/35061338#

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