The Role of Dry Ice in Vaccine Transport

Dry Ice Being Poured into Styrofoam Container

Vaccine distribution initially posed challenges for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Most notably, they had to determine the best way to ship millions of doses across the United States while meeting specific storage temperature guidelines. For example, Pfizer’s vaccine has a required storage temperature of –94 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum effectiveness. These strict requirements have made medical-grade dry ice the unsung hero of the vaccine rollout process.

The Importance of a Reliable Dry Ice Supplier

The demand for dry ice saw a 1,138% increase after the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines. This surge in demand led to concerns about a nationwide shortage of dry ice. When looking for a supplier for your dry ice needs, be sure to consider the following factors:

How Long Have They Manufactured Dry Ice?

Partnering with a manufacturer that has years of experience will ensure your dry ice arrives fresh at your facility. Dry ice sublimates by up to 10% per day, and a loss of quality contributes to a loss of product.

How Knowledgeable Are They?

Find a supplier that specializes in several types of dry ice. A provider with expert knowledge should be able to produce for multiple industries.

How Good Is Their Customer Service?

Be sure to ask for referrals from other clients the supplier has worked with. A reliable company should be happy to provide customer testimonials.

What’s Their Manufacturing Process?

Don’t be afraid to ask about specific manufacturing processes. A dependable supplier should make and ship new ice every day. A supplier that doesn’t may send you low-quality ice.

Want to learn more about proper safety measures when working with dry ice? Check out OSC’s safety data sheet for more information.

Safety Guidelines When Working With Medical-Grade Dry Ice

The rise in demand for quality dry ice products has increased the number of people handling dangerous vaccine packaging. Here are some guidelines to keep everyone safe when working with dry ice:

Avoid Direct Contact

Direct contact with dry ice quickly leads to frostbite, a condition where skin cells freeze and are permanently damaged. Wearing goggles, face shields, and insulated gloves prevents direct exposure.

Educate Employees About Asphyxiation Hazards

Dry ice changes from a solid to a gas at –109 degrees Fahrenheit. This transition releases substantial amounts of carbon dioxide into the air. Exposure to carbon dioxide leads to difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness, so it’s vital to equip workers with portable gas detectors that will warn them when carbon dioxide levels are too high. Be sure to purchase sensors that have a simple alert system, such as vibrating or sounding a loud alarm.

Be Cautious of Burst Containers

Dry ice stored in a closed container pressurizes when left at normal room temperatures for too long. The vaccine packs burst when the gas isn’t released, damaging the materials and exposing the area to significant levels of carbon dioxide.

By following these guidelines, you make sure that your employees remain safe while working with medical-grade dry ice.

Other Uses of Medical-Grade Dry Ice

Dry ice stored in a closed container pressurizes when left at normal room temperatures for too long. The vaccine packs burst when the gas isn’t released, damaging the materials and exposing the area to significant levels of carbon dioxide.

By following these guidelines, you make sure that your employees remain safe while working with medical-grade dry ice.

Lab Transportation

Dry ice blasting is used to clean commercial health facilities. This method is popular because it reduces waste, is environmentally friendly, and doesn’t require harmful cleaning products. Dry ice blasting sprays medical equipment with shaved pellets that transform into gas and remove contaminants from the surface.

Commercial Health Cleaning

Dry ice is used for transporting other temperature-sensitive items, including:

  • Biological samples
  • Blood samples
  • Organs
  • Medications

Dry ice doesn’t melt. Instead, it evaporates into a gas, making it ideal for shipping temperature-sensitive products for long periods.

Let Oxygen Service Company Be Your Medical-Grade Dry Ice Supplier

OSC has years of experience supplying hospitals, laboratories, and medical facilities with dry ice. Our dry ice is made to order, never stockpiled, and only a few hours old when it arrives at your facility. We provide you with cost-effective products that help with:

  • Keeping medical items cold
  • Refrigerating items in the food and beverage industry
  • Pest control
  • Special effects
  • Cleaning

We’re a 100% employee-owned company that takes pride in keeping our customers satisfied. Contact Oxygen Service Company today if you’re interested in improving your dry ice supply chain.