POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Idaho State University has taken delivery of a new freezer that will help the Southeast Idaho Public Health District store the district’s supply of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
It is designed to store a variety of items common to research facilities, like tissue samples, DNA, and RNA, at temperatures as low as -70 to -86 degrees Celsius.
It will be used until the district’s freezer arrives sometime in January.
“We actually got two of these freezers for our labs in Pocatello early this year but only began using one of them before the pandemic caused us to move to distance-based instruction and significantly impacted our research,” said ISU Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Chair Marvin Schulte. “We didn’t even fully unwrap the second one, but we knew we would need it eventually. I’m glad that they will be able to use it.”
Local hospitals have also reached out to ISU to help vaccinate the large numbers of people expected to be wanting the vaccine.
“That’s going to be where we can help the most, by having students available to give shots,” says Dr. Kevin Cleveland, assistant dean and director of the Office of Experiential Education for the College of Pharmacy. “Our students are experienced. We’re ready to go out into pharmacies or other locations and administer vaccines. The drive-up flu shot clinics we have already done helped prepare the students in an even more realistic scenario to be ready for the COVID vaccine.”
The first delivery of vaccine is expected to be small, with larger quantities expected in the coming months.