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Inside the ultra cool freezers that will house COVID-19 vaccines

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Teams at Mayo Clinic are preparing for the anticipated arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, following federal approval. Different vaccines have different storage requirements. For instance, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit) while Moderna has said that its vaccine needs to be stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit).

Mayo Clinic has multiple ultralow temperature freezers designated for vaccine storage and distribution. Each freezer can hold up to 100,000 doses of vaccine. Mayo Clinic has used these freezers for other therapeutics that have required low-temperature storage but none at such low temperatures.

Jason Christensen, Pharm.D., senior director of Pharmacy at Mayo Clinic, offers some insight into how these freezers work and will safely store the vaccines.

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For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

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