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COVID Vaccine (MN): Central McGowan’s Dry Ice Helping Vaccines Go The Distance

To view the original story from CBS Minnesota, click here.

Some Minnesota companies are acting fast to make sure the vaccine gets to all areas of the state quickly.

There’s a lot going on at Central McGowan, a family-owned St. Cloud business. Brenden Moffitt is fast at work.

“I’m happy to have a job,” Moffitt said.

The grateful father and husband knows, amidst COVID-19, many aren’t so lucky.

“I know a lot of people who’ve been laid off or lost their jobs entirely,” he said. “I have a lot of friends in the food industry that have been laid off.”

And the job he is thankful for is more important than ever. Central McGowan is supplying oxygen for COVID patients on ventilators, and hospital demand has quadrupled.

“Knowing that … this could potentially save someone’s life or, you know, it could be going to someone’s home to help them so that they can stay home and not to go out and get things or whatever, if they have breathing problems,” he said.

They are also making dry ice to safely ship and store the vaccine. Joe Francis is the CEO of Central McGowan.

“It can travel longer distances without, you know, melting, and it’s obviously much, much, much colder than ‘wet ice,’ as they call it,” Francis said.

The Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept at minus-70 to minus-94 degrees. The dry ice at Central McGowan is minus-110 degrees. Their ice boxes are just starting to go out, as the vaccine trickles in. They will supply small hospitals and clinics all over the state.

“It’s gratifying, it’s rewarding,” Francis said. “It makes us feel like we’re more than just distributors of product, you know. It gives our team something to be passionate about.”

The company says another reason dry ice is in extra high demand is because with so many closures, many restaurants and grocery services are shipping for at-home delivery.

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