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Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center receives freezer to store Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

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Posted at 1:38 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 13:38:42-05

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center announced it has received a NUAIRE -86 degree Celsius (-122.8 Fahrenheit) ultra-low temp freezer for storing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Officials say the delivery comes ahead of next week’s anticipated delivery of 975 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

"The freezer will be kept at -80 degrees Celsius to accommodate the vaccine, which requires a temperature of -70 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer is housed in a secure room that has been modified to provide the additional electricity needed to operate it," a release states.

According to officials the freezer can only be accessed by those wearing special gloves and the door can only be open for 60 to 90 seconds before being closed again for hours.

NFMMC is in talks with the Niagara County Department of Health to share the freezer if space is needed.

“We are so fortunate to have ordered this piece of equipment several months ago as there is now a four or five-month backlog to place an order,” said Memorial President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. “We’ve received it just in time for the arrival of the vaccine and we are ready to safely store and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to our staff, nursing home residents, and community.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday the Western New York Region was expected to be allocated 14,500 doses of the 170,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine initially sent to the state.