The icy challenge ahead for COVID-19 vaccine distributors
Fri, November 20, 2020, 7:11 AM MST
Pfizer on Friday said it will apply to the FDA for emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine. The drug giant hopes to produce up to 50 million doses this year, with about half going to the U.S.
Moderna will also apply soon for the same emergency use authorization and expects to deliver about 20 million doses in the U.S. by the end of the year. The companies are trying to figure out the best way to keep the product safe and effective, but it's an icy challenge.
At Acme Dry Ice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, owner Marc Savenor and his team are working around the clock to provide dry ice to vaccine manufacturers.
"I never thought I'd be saving lives. But it feels really good," Savenor told "CBS This Morning Saturday" co-host Dana Jacobson.
Colder than Antarctica in winter, dry ice is critical to transporting and storing the coronavirus vaccines.
"The demand is definitely higher right now for the vaccine makers because as fast as they're making the vaccine, they're shipping it out," Savenor said.
Dry ice is made from carbon dioxide, a by-product of ethanol production. With Americans driving less in the wake of the pandemic, ethanol plants shut down, resulting in a shortage of carbon dioxide over the summer.
"Without CO2, it's like being a McDonald's without hamburgers," Savenor said. "Right now, we happen to have a great supply chain of CO2. You know, it's always scary to see what the demand is going to be with the vaccine." https://news.yahoo.com/icy-challenge-ahead-covid-19-141150577.html