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East Valley doctor purchases ultra-cold freezer to store COVID-19 vaccine

While Moderna's vaccine doesn't require special ultra-cold storage, Pfizer Pharmaceutical’s vaccine does -- and a Valley doctor is getting ready for the special requirements.

It is beyond cool -- it's an ultra freezer made by Thermo Fisher Scientific. East Valley Dr. Andrew Carroll just bought an older model that can safely hold a vaccine to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Pfizer's promising vaccine requires a very low storage temperature, or it will spoil.

"Pfizer's looking for -92° and your freezer's not going to do that. We have to have this specialized equipment," said Carroll.

Specialized equipment that is now in very high demand. Dr. Carroll was able to buy a pre-owned model for $5,000.

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"Normal market, this would be $11,000 to $15,000. The biggest problem is the wait list now. Doctors offices are having to wait one to three months to get these freezers because they're such in high demand," he said.

The medical-grade freezer will hold about 1,000 doses of the vaccine, says Dr. Carroll. Installing the freezer is just the beginning.

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"After that, I've got to take photos of it operating. I've got to provide proof to ADHS and CDC to certify that I'm ready to receive the vaccine once it's delivered."

As early as this Spring, Dr. Carroll hopes to start providing the COVID-19 vaccine from his East Valley practice, starting with healthcare workers and other high risk groups.

Online: http://drcarroll.com

Continuing Coverage

Arizona doctor talks issues that could arise with a COVID-19 vaccine

Distribution, storage and costs could be some issues we run into once a COVID-19 vaccine is officially ready, says an Arizona doctor.

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Phoenix is playing a vital role in helping researchers and doctors find a vaccine for the coronavirus.