COVID-19 Vaccine Storage in Ultra-Low Temperatures

Category: Building Community

Written By: Jared Higgins, PE, CEM, GGP

Date: December 17, 2020

COVID-19 Vaccine Storage in Ultra-Low Temperatures cover image

Jared Higgins is a Principal and Mechanical Engineer for Parkhill, a multidisciplinary architecture | engineering firm with offices in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Jared has over fifteen years of experience in building systems design and energy conservation strategies. He is a recognized firm leader in research for multiple market sectors and has articles published in the ASHRAE Journal, Journal of Energy Engineering, and Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment.

As manufacturers prepare to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine this week, hospitals and pharmacies across the country have been preparing to receive the vaccine so they can begin to give injections to those with the most critical need of protection.

However, the storage requirements differ from typical vaccines frequently administered. Many vaccines, including DTaP, hepatitis, influenza, polio, and rotavirus, have temperature storage requirements between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C), which is easily achieved with a standard refrigerator or freezer.

Other vaccines, such as MMR, varicella, zoster, and MMRV, require a more stringent temperature between -58°F and -5°F (-50°C and -15°C), which are also achieved with a standard freezer.