Ohio dry ice company with high demand for vaccine storage – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2020-11-19 21:26:41 –

Gehm and Sons is an Akron-based company with a cool past, hoping that its extremely cold products will help provide a bright future for Ohio people who are increasingly tired of the COVID-19 pandemic. is.

“We went to a carbon dioxide distributor from a horse and buggy store in the early 1900s. In the mid-1940s we went to dry ice,” said co-owner Harry Games. ..

The company uses carbon dioxide and block presses to produce 55 pounds of cubes and produces approximately 6 million pounds of dry ice each year. The pellet press slices the blocks into small chunks and stores them in a box that can hold approximately 1,200 pounds of dry ice pellets.

Demand for dry ice has increased since Pfizer announced the need for long-term storage of vaccines at minus 94 degrees Celsius. Long-term storage of Moderna vaccine will be minus 4 degrees. The temperature of dry ice produced by Gehm and Sons is minus 109 degrees.

The company recently received about 15 calls from hospitals, stores such as the Giant Eagle, and the Ohio Department of Health saying they were ready to order large quantities of dry ice for effective storage of vaccine vials. ..

“When these hospitals get it (vaccine), they will need dry ice within a few days, so they need to be prepared in advance to be ready to receive the shipment,” he said.

Gehm expects sales to increase by 10-15% due to the surge in dry ice.

ODH has been informed to the business that it is preparing to order £ 15,000 of dry ice per week.

“They are demanding £ 25 to £ 50 per container. I don’t know how many vials each container has, but that’s what they’re demanding,” Game said.

Gehm believes his company is the only manufacturer of dry ice in Ohio, so he feels that order calls will continue.

“I imagine it will last for months, especially when they say these vaccines are two doses, which means it will take twice as long,” he said. ..

Ohio Health Department spokesman Rachel Feeley predicts that orders will begin around December 1st and that dry ice will be used for Pfizer vaccines when repacking and shipping to Ohio-wide providers. doing.

ODH is waiting for information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is deciding when to distribute the vaccine, Feely said.

Feely explained that the weekly cost of dry ice is $ 1,162 per week and is funded by CARES.

Mr. Game said he was pleased that his company, with its rich history, would play a role in protecting vaccines that are important to the population.

“It’s just neat. It’s exciting. It’s a new path. It’s a new adventure.”

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