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Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Pharmacy Director Michelle Lewis receives the special freezer for vaccine storage. Bottom photo: Lewis models the special gloves needed to access it.
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Pharmacy Director Michelle Lewis receives the special freezer for vaccine storage. Bottom photo: Lewis models the special gloves needed to access it.

Memorial receives special freezer for storing Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

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Fri, Dec 11th 2020 11:45 am

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has received a NUAIRE minus-86-degree Celsius (minus-122.8 Fahrenheit), ultra-low temp freezer ahead of next week’s anticipated delivery of 975 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The freezer will be kept at minus-80 degrees Celsius to accommodate the vaccine, which requires a temperature of minus-70 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer is housed in a secure room that has been modified to provide the additional electricity needed to operate it.

Accessed only by those wearing special cryogenic gloves, the freezer door can only be open for 60 to 90 seconds before being closed again for hours. In addition, the medical center is in talks with the Niagara County Health Department to share the freezer if space is needed on its end.

“We are so fortunate to have ordered this piece of equipment several months ago as there is now a four- or five-month backlog to place an order,” Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said. “We’ve received it just in time for the arrival of the vaccine, and we are ready to safely store and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to our staff, nursing home residents, and community.”

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