Temperature probes, GPS sensors part of Pfizer vaccine packaging

Posted at 5:33 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 18:33:18-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas officials showed off the high-tech containers in which Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine will arrive during a news conference Wednesday in Topeka.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman unveiled the specialized boxes, which are shipped in temperature-controlled vehicles with specially designed packaging to keep the vaccine at “ultra cold” temperatures, during a briefing with Gov. Laura Kelly.

The lid contains a temperature probe that is checked every hour to ensure the vaccine remains at the recommend minus-70 degrees Celsius.

A GPS tracker also is stored in the lid so officials can track the shipment and keep track of each specific box.

Norman said the boxes would contain dry ice to maintain the frigid temperatures and will be opened very little.

Each box will contain five trays with 195 vaccine vials for a total of 975 doses per box.

The vaccine must be used within five days of thawing, Norman said.

Once emptied, the boxes will be returned to Pfizer and reused.

Kelly said the state still expects to receive 24,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine later this week.

The state expects to have 49,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which requires less stringent transport and storage protocols, next week.