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Cee Kay Supply, a local company and the only manufacturer of dry ice in Missouri, is preparing to play a critical role in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccinations if and when the Food and Drug administration authorizes it for emergency use.
COVID vaccines, including Pfizer’s, is awaiting regulatory approval and will need to be shipped and stored in ultracold temperatures.
This means that makers of dry ice or frozen carbon dioxide are getting ready for a surge in demand.
Back in March, Cee Kay Supply increased its stock of storage and shipping containers.
Demand has already risen as much as 50 percent this year compared to 2019.
“Since the pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of increases in food products, shipping products, things like that,” Steven Neubauer, dry ice coordinator at Cee Kay Supply, said.
But now, they’re fielding calls from the healthcare world.
“Once the vaccine was announced, there was much more of a demand,” Neubauer said. “A lot of health centers and hospitals were calling in, asking if we were able to supply them with dry ice.”
Dry ice is negative 109 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cee Kay’s role is simple but important: to help supply hospitals and healthcare centers with dry ice to keep the vaccines cold.
“With us and the help of other small companies around us, you know being centralized in Missouri is very beneficial for us and supplying those people,” Neubauer said.
As time gets closer to the vaccine rollout, everyone is going to be needing the same thing at the same time, but Cee Kay Supply is ready to meet that demand.
“We are confident that we are going to be able to keep up with the demand. Like I said, we’ve already kind of geared up for the additional demand for dry ice with the food companies, shipping, and now definitely the medical centers and facilities,” Neubauer said.
This family-owned business for over 72 years will help hospitals and healthcare centers in every way they can.
“We plan to be a part of it as best we can,” Neubauer said. “Help support in any way that’s possible.”