As various vaccines are being rolled out across Australia and the world, many of us are hopeful of putting the events of the past year behind us and slowly transitioning into the ‘new normal’ that the following years will present us with. Amongst the amazing doctors, scientists and governments developing and releasing the vaccines, Melbourne Dry Ice is one unsung hero amongst the crowd ensuring the vaccines are transported and delivered in an effective and safe manner.
Dry ice is the solid form of compressed and chilled carbon dioxide and can be as cold as -75 degrees Celsius! So how is this being used in the roll out for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
In order to transport the vaccines to the many countries around the world, some of the pharmaceutical companies have developed a solution using specially designed eskies and dry ice. The eskies have to vaccines placed into them and use dry ice packed around the vaccines to keep the internal temperature extremely cold, as low as temperatures of -70 degrees Celsius. This is needed to ensure the vaccines stay at a consistently low temperature, if they rise above a critical temperature, they lose their effectiveness as a vaccine.
Whilst in the dry ice esky the vaccines can be safely transported and held in this configuration for up to 14 days. Once the eskies have reached their target destination, they can be transferred into extremely cold freezers which can hold them until they are needed for use for up to 6 months. Once the vaccines are ready to be used, they can be stored in a regular fridge for up to five days.
It sounds like a simple process, but this extremely complex task is taking the collective efforts of many large businesses, government and medical experts. And of course Dry Ice!