New storage facility for COVID-19 vaccine doses being prepared in Phoenix

In Arizona, over 554,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given out, and more than 85,000 people have received both of the needed doses.

In Maricopa County, more than 255,000 people have been vaccinated, while in Pima County, over 94,000 people have been vaccinated.

As the vaccine rollout continues, long lines can be seen at the vaccination sites, as people who pre-registered wait for the shots. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, and many others are pushing to speed up the process, which means there will need to be many more doses, as well as places to store them.

In Phoenix, city officials say a large warehouse is being converted to properly store the vaccine.

City officials worked closely with a logistics and freight management company named Langham Logistics to provide another location to store COVID-19 vaccines, as more supply is on the way. Over 64,000 square feet of the warehouse has been converted into a cold storage facility. 

"We are in the process of bringing in ULT (Ultra Low Temperature) freezers that can store vaccines at -80°C (-112°F), and our hope is in the very near future, we will be contributing to the Phoenix environment and house those vaccines for our community," said Erica Ewing, Operations Manager with Langham Logistics.

Ewing says they’re expecting 15 ULT freezers that will go into a separate room.

"It'll have all these freezers that will be monitored at all times to ensure that they maintain the temperature that is mandatory for those vaccines to remain stable," said Ewing.

Construction at the warehouse began back in late September and early October.

"The review of the technical plans and inspections were on a very expedited schedule, and our guys are out there many hours a day for several days in a row, including well into the night to complete the inspections to make sure that the work is ready," said Stephen Dudley with the City of Phoenix.

Dudley says the goal is to be ready to receive as many vaccines as they can. 

"This provides another location to store large quantities of [vaccines] to assist in the distribution, and the construction had to be completed, and the space had to be ready to receive the vaccines on a very short notice," said Dudley.

The city also helped to make electrical upgrades to add 10 news freezers to the Mayo Clinic's vaccine storage system.

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COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

COVID-19 resources

CDC Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)

AZDHS Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)