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Blog COVID-19 in Maryland

Md. Acquires Freezers to Store Pfizer Vaccine

The state of Maryland is preparing for the eventual distribution of COVID-19 vaccines by purchasing five industrial-sized freezers.

During a meeting last week, the state Board of Public Works, which includes Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D), heard from the state Health Department’s director of Procurement, Dana L. Dembrow.

Dembrow explained that the state is ready to accept delivery of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, thanks to the purchase of equipment that can handle the storage needs of the vaccine, which must be stored at a temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius.

“We have already purchased five such freezers, and they were delivered last week,” he said. “We have also negotiated with the same vendor, the opportunity to purchase, at the same price, any additional freezers.”

Dembrow said as a result, the state is in “good shape” to receive the vaccine when available.

Pfizer has already applied for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to distribute the vaccine.

A second COVID-19 vaccine, developed by a second pharmaceutical company, Moderna, will also be sent to the FDA for approval in a matter of weeks. That vaccine, if it goes into wide circulation, would not need a deep-freeze for storage.

As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Abigail Constantino. Click here for the WTOP News website.