Hartford Healthcare preparing for statewide COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford Healthcare started preparing their plan to roll out COVID-19 vaccines in September. Today, leaders expressed confidence in their vaccination storage and distribution plan.

“We are prepared at Hartford Healthcare perspective. I believe the vaccine might come sometime in December and if that is the time we have a month, easy to plan this out we’ve already had kind of a tabletop work done on that side,” said Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chief Clinical Officer of Hartford Healthcare.

Dr. Kumar says healthcare workers will be among the first to be vaccinated.

Hartford Healthcare’s pharmacy director says vaccine doses will be shipped in on dry ice. The Pfizer vaccine will be stored in a special freezer. It must be stored at roughly one hundred degrees below zero fahrenheit. More freezers are on the way.

Ultra-cold freezer for Hartford Healthcare’s storage of the Pfizer vaccine

“We’ve ordered a large ultra low temperature freezer it is about 28 cubic feet. It can actually hold almost 280,000 doses of the vaccine,” says Eric Arlia, Senior Director of System Pharmacy at Hartford Healthcare.

Arlia says the Moderna vaccine only requires standard freezer temperatures at 20 degrees below zero celsius so they are prepared.

“All of our acute care facilities also have standard freezer capacity so we’ll be able to store that one at all of the hospital facilities long term,” Arlia adds.

Hartford Healthcare plans to distribute the vaccine doses all over Connecticut. Leaders point out that their robust COVID-19 testing network can also be used for vaccination locations.

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