The race is on not just to develop a coronavirus vaccine but also to determine how to distribute it ethically and efficiently.
In Massachusetts, the bulk of Acme Dry Ice’s business is from vaccine manufacturers.
“We’ve got calls as far as California, Seattle, Chicago, Texas,” says Acme’s Marc Savenor.
Several of the leading vaccine contenders must be stored at subzero temperatures.
Hospitals and states are being asked to plan now.
“This is definitely the most daunting task that we’ve had to undertake,” says Molley Howell, director of the North Dakota Immunization Program.
The first doses will likely be limited, possibly covering as little as five percent of the country’s population.
A Centers for Disease Control advisory group is recommending initial doses go to healthcare workers and high risk groups, then expanded to others as more doses are manufactured and possibly more vaccines approved.
“They’re different platforms to deliver the same technology essentially,” says the Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Andrew Bradley. “So I fully agree that if a vaccine works, then we will likely have multiple vaccines.”
All Americans likely will have access to these new weapons in the fight against COVID-19 within a year to a year and a half after they’re approved.