Vaccines, incredible complex feats of medicine using a multitude of new age technology and ingredients to reduce the harmful effects of COVID-19 and hopefully make it a thing of the past. But there is one untold ingredient that would be easy to miss in helping the COVID-19 vaccine roll out. Dry Ice!
Governments and pharmaceutical companies are looking to buy dry ice in extreme quantities because it is essential to maintaining the incredibly low temperatures required to transport the vaccines across the globe. The extremely low temperatures are required to ensure that the vaccines still work when they reach their destination and are ready to be used.
Dry ice is actually the solid form of Carbon Dioxide. It is chilled and compressed to form a solid which can be as cold as -75 degrees Celsius.
So the vaccines can be effectively transported across long distances, pharmaceutical companies have developed a solution utilising specialist eskies and dry ice to control and maintain the extremely low temperatures need for the vaccines. The vaccines are packed into the eskies for transport and then dry ice is packed inside the esky around the vaccines to ensure the desired temperature is maintained. Whilst in this setting the vaccines can be transported for up to 14 days to their desired destination. Once this first step of the distribution is completed the vaccines are transferred into freezers where they can be stored for up to 6 months. When they are required, the vaccines can be removed from the freezers and placed into refrigeration for up to 5 days before being used.
Now this might sound like a revolutionary way to use dry ice, a long way from novel science experiments, but dry ice has been used in the medical industry and other settings for a number of years. It is used for medical sample storage and when emergency refrigeration is needed. It is commonly used in medical procedures to freeze of warts and other skin imperfections.
It can also be used in other industrial settings such as for cleaning oil and mould using dry ice blasting.