UCHealth has freezers, coolers on standby for COVID-19 vaccines

The major health care system told KKTV how it’s prepping hospitals and staff now
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 8:34 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - UCHealth is preparing for COVID-19 vaccines to arrive, which could come in the next few weeks.

The health care system says industrial freezers are ready to store vaccines. If receiving the Pfitzer vaccine, the system says it has additional coolers and is ready to fill them with dry ice as needed to keep this vaccine extremely cold.

One doctor says there is a prioritized list of medical staff who will be first in line to be vaccinated.

“We don’t believe we are going to get enough for all health care workers, so we will prioritize those workers in charge of taking care of COVID patients,” said Dr. Richard Zane of UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora.

Front line workers will not be required to be vaccinated. Questions have been raised regarding the implications of fast-tracking the vaccine, but Zane and other medical experts have strongly encouraged getting vaccinated.

“Don’t call these vaccines rushed, because they weren’t rushed,” Zane said. “They were certainly expedited, which means a tremendous amount of resources, in terms of time, scientists, and people, went into them ... I would strongly encourage that if anyone is offered to get the vaccine, that they get the vaccine.”

Zane reiterated the concern other medical experts have for delivering the Pfitzer vaccine to rural areas, given the extremely cold temperatures could be hard to maintain on long transport trips.

UCHealth plans to bring vaccines into its primary care offices when there is enough supply to vaccinate the general public, which is the last tier of people expected to have access to the vaccine in 2021.

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