INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As the United States awaits approval for COVID-19 vaccinations, some concern has arisen that inadequate cold storage could slow the rollout.
Indianapolis-based Sutton-Garten Co. is preparing to be part of the solution. Sales manager Jacob Maynard said the company, founded in 1918, is Indiana’s only manufacturer of dry ice.
Maynard said not only have Lilly, Kroger pharmacies and the Indiana State Department of Health approached Sutton-Garten with requests for services, but so have places all over the country.
The Moderna vaccine has to be stored at minus-4 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the standard for most hospital and pharmacy freezers.
Pfizer’s vaccine, on the other hand, needs to be stored at minus-94 degrees Fahrenheit at least, a temperature that dry ice can accommodate.
Maynard said Sutton-Garten may not have the space to store the amount of vaccine Indiana could eventually need, yet the company’s capacity to ship vaccines will be a huge help.
“They can be stored in insulated containers. These hold up to, in the 16-millimeter product, up to 1,500 pounds. The block product, it will hold up to 2,500 (pounds) and it keeps that product fairly well insulated, but it will stay in these totes for a long time,” Maynard said.
To prepare for the vaccination, he said, the company has added more staff, shifts and equipment.
“We don’t know how far this is gonna go quite yet but we are certainly set up with outside storage tanks of the liquid CO2 (carbon dioxide). We’ve got plenty of pelletizing equipment. The possibilities really are endless,” Maynard said.
He can’t say for sure when Indiana will receive its vaccine shipment, but his team will be more than ready.
Indiana coronavirus timeline
With information from the Indiana Department of Health through Nov. 19, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.
- March 6: Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirms the first case in Indiana. Officials say the Marion County resident had recently traveled to Boston to attend a BioGen conference as a contractor.
- March 8: ISDH confirms a second case. An adult in Hendricks County who had also traveled to the BioGen conference was placed in isolation. Noblesville Schools say a parent and that parent’s children will be self-quarantining after attending an out-of-state event where someone else tested positive.
- March 9: Avon Community School Corp. says a student on March 8 tested positive.
- March 10: ISDH launches an online tracker. Ball State University basketball fans learn the Mid-American Conference tourney will have no fans in the stands. Three businesses operating nursing homes in Indiana announce they will no longer allow visitors.
- March 11: The Indianapolis-based NCAA announces the Final Four basketball tournaments will be conducted with essential staff and limited family attendance. The Big Ten announces all sports events, including the men’s basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will have no fans starting March 12. Ball State University suspends in-person classes the rest of the spring semester. NBA suspends all games, including the Indiana Pacers, until further notice. Butler University and the University of Indianapolis extend spring break, after which they will have virtual classes.
- March 12: Gov. Eric Holcomb announces new protections that led to extended public school closings and the cancellation of large events across the state. The NCAA cancels its basketball tournaments. The Big Ten suspends all sporting events through the winter and spring seasons. The league including the Indy Fuel hockey team suspends its season. Indy Eleven says it will reschedule four matches. Indianapolis’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled.
- March 13: The Indiana High School Athletic Association postpones the boys basketball tournament. Wayzata Home…