Pfizer sends its vaccine in pizza box-sized minimum lots of just under 1,000 doses, along with a dry ice refill to last a total of five days.
After the added time it takes getting vaccines to rural communities, “is that sufficient time for them to turn around and vaccinate folks?” asked Soumi Saha, vice president of advocacy at Premier Inc, which coordinates purchases for thousands of U.S. hospitals and health systems.
“Are they going to say, ‘Hey, you don’t even have enough people, you’re just gonna waste it’?” she added. “Does that mean that you have these vacuums throughout the country where people don’t even have access, because of that concern?”
Batesville, Indiana-based Margaret Mary Health, midway between Cincinnati and Indianapolis, has plans to prevent vaccine waste or spoilage as it prepares to inoculate healthcare workers over its 1,400-square-mile (3,626 square kms) area from two sites, including a drive-through at a local fire department.
It has multiple dry ice and deep freezer providers lined up to prevent mishaps, and will schedule vaccination appointments, with a backup list so no-shows do not lead to waste.