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Enloe Medical Center doing OK storing COVID-19 vaccines

As more people get vaccinated for COVID-19 - local hospitals are making sure they have enough space to store the vaccine.

Posted: Jan 6, 2021 5:41 PM

CHICO, Calif. - So far, so good, at Enloe Medical Center when it comes to storing both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Pharmacy Director at Enloe, Chris Marking, said the boxes Pfizer and Moderna come in have a temp tail. They record the temperature during shipping.

Marking said Moderna comes packed in ice and immediately goes into the freezer. Pfizer is shipped in dry ice. The hospital only has five minutes to get the Pfizer vaccine into the deep freezer.

Marking said so far, it's all gone smoothly.

"A shipment of vaccine is smaller than a cubic square foot so it is not hard to get it into our space at all," said Marking. "Storage is not our limitation. It is just the dating on the vaccine. On these vaccines, they are only good from anywhere between three to six months before they expire. So our thing is making sure we know what the expiration date is coming to us so we can get our clinic planned accordingly and making sure we have all those doses accounted for."

Marking said they already had one pharmacy freezer to store the vaccines but had to borrow the hospital’s high ultra-cold freezers normally used for tissues and blood products.

The pharmacy also prepares the number of vials each night needed to vaccinate people the next day.

Enloe representatives said as of now, they are on track with their vaccine distribution. Marking said he thinks Butte County is vaccinating more than other surrounding counties.

So far, they said they have not had a delay in shipments of the vaccines and have been able to vaccinate up to 200 people a day.

"We have been working very closely with Butte County Public Health," shared Marking. "They have been doing a great job with getting us the supplies we need. We are working weekly calls with them to keep opening more tiers up and get the rest of our community vaccinated."

Marking said after taking the Pfizer vaccine out of the freezer and mixing it with saline, it has a six-hour window before it goes bad. The Moderna vaccine can last 30 days in the refrigerator and six months in the freezer before going bad.

The hospital has a backup generator running the freezers and fridges at all times and back up freezers on site.

Enloe Medical Center has administered over 3,000 vaccines since the vaccine distribution process began. 

Click here to learn more through Butte County Public Health on the COVID-19 vaccines.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3095814

Reported Deaths: 35549
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles104602114641
San Bernardino2587421561
Riverside2558082739
San Diego2197312222
Orange2178492546
Santa Clara959361158
Kern87240572
Fresno83591968
Sacramento816871128
Alameda69107842
Ventura63413462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43392773
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo33207309
San Francisco29665274
Solano26191108
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25380486
Merced24570316
Sonoma24262242
Kings19588148
Placer17584186
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13585151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10852138
Shasta9750123
Butte9582128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa773145
Lassen519916
San Benito504246
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323874
Mendocino319232
Amador303631
Lake264631
Humboldt245825
Glenn195520
Colusa17969
Calaveras163723
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
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Chico
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