DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — The Pfizer vaccine’s low temperature requirements require special accommodations.
That’s why vaccine administrators have to know how long the vaccine needs to thaw before the shot is given.
Dartmouth Public Health Director Christopher Michaud showed 12 News the process using an empty Pfizer box. (Watch his demonstration in the video above.)
It’s so important for the Pfizer vaccine to be kept cold that the box it comes in has its own cell connection attached to a thermometer, which constantly reports the temperature inside.
“It’s going to show you cellular connection, battery life, as well as the temperature,” Michaud said. “This is cellularly reporting back out to a monitoring company where I can access that at any time and check what the temperature is at the last report, as well as look at what it was going back to when they first created this box, and I can do that multiple times a day.”
The doses have to be kept anywhere between -70°C and -60°C.
“We’ve never had a box that was warmer than -72°C,” Michaud said. “When it gets to the 73/74 range, we just re-ice it.”
Each tray has 195 vials of the vaccine, with as many as six doses in each.