Ultra-cold freezers to store Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrive at two Duke hospitals

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Thursday, December 10, 2020
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Ultra-cold freezers needed to store Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine arrived at two of Duke's hospitals on Wednesday.

Freezers needed to store Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine arrived at two of Duke's hospitals on Wednesday.

Duke Raleigh received two of the ultra-cold freezers. Duke Regional got two as well.

Duke University Hospital is already equipped with one.

An inside look at Duke Hospital's COVID-19 vaccination center for doctors, nurses and staff

The freezers are installed and set to -90 degrees Fahrenheit. Fore reference, your freezer at home is at 0 degrees.

If a vaccine is approved this week, Duke Health officials said they will be prepared to give out doses as early as next week to frontline healthcare workers.

Right now, Duke is working with the state to determine how much vaccine they get and then who will get it first inside the hospital.

"We can truly see this as the next chapter of this pandemic," said Mitch Babb, chief operating officer of Duke Regional. "We've been through a lot over the past year as a country and as healthcare workers. To truly see this as a glimmer of light above the horizon for our healthcare workers, for our hospitals and more important for the broader community."

Duke Health has 114 COVID-19 patients across its three hospitals currently.

Q&A: Ultra-cold freezers, vaccine rollout plans at Duke hospitals