CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – With the announcement of a vaccine distribution timeline in Massachusetts on Wednesday, there’s now a focus on shipping the lifesaving doses. To do that, manufacturers and hospitals need dry ice. The extremely cold product is now a hot commodity that is necessary to keep the doses from spoiling in storage.
At Acme Ice in Cambridge, there has never been more on the line. Owner Marc Savenor says his supply of dry ice is like white gold right now. “We are just happy to be part of the supply chain that’s moving around the vaccine,” he said.READ MORE: Police Shooting Reported Outside Burlington Apartment Building
Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be kept at about 94 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The ice filling the large blue containers at Acme Ice is at 109 degrees below zero.
Savenor says his dry ice has already been sent to keep vaccine doses cold enough for shipment, and now he’s just waiting for the call from area hospitals to replenish whatever melts away. Once the doses arrive to area hospitals his priority would be, “making sure they don’t run out, and let the vaccine spoil.”READ MORE: Keller @ Large: Candidate For Governor Danielle Allen Says Mass. Needs 'Exit Ramp' For Use Of Masks
One big unknown for Acme right now, is just how often they’ll need to replenish dry ice supplies. “Every other day, or every three or four, or five days,” said Savenor. “We really don’t know until we see how it goes.”
There has been some concern, according to Savenor, that there won’t be enough dry ice to go around. He’s quick to tell hospitals, “there’s definitely gonna be enough dry ice.”MORE NEWS: No Arrests Made, Victim Remains In Critical Condition Following South Shore Plaza Shooting
One thing working in Acme’s favor is the phased distribution timeline. Savenor says it allows them to keep up with increased demand. “We’re ready and we’re on top of our game,” Savenor said. “We’re just waiting for the call.”