Chattanooga ice company helps keep COVID vaccine stored

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee- “They have the vaccine coming and they were not going to invest in the freezers and they need to dry ice for storage so we were glad to work with them to just have a small part of it,” said Tennessee Valley Ice Company Vice President Gary Bloodworth.

Tennessee Valley Ice Company makes around 200 tons of ice each day. Even though the company doesn’t produce dry ice, it plays a key roll in storing and distributing the dry ice safely.

“Dry ice will burn you because it’s 110° below zero, so you handle dry ice with gloves. You don’t get to close to it because it’s primarily CO2. It will eliminate the oxygen in the area you’re in,” said Bloodworth.

Bloodworth said dry ice always sublimates, or turns into gas, but Tennessee Valley Ice Company said it stores the ice to make sure the loss is only two or three percent a day.

“You can only store dry ice by insulating it and keeping it sealed. It’s sublimates from the moment it’s made. You can only slow it down,” said Bloodworth.

He said Erlanger has already purchased 500 pounds of dry ice to store the Pfizer vaccine. He said it’s incredible for the company to be a part of the fight against COVID.

Anything we’re a part of that’s going to help eliminate or eradicate this virus, we are very excited to be a part of,” said Bloodworth.

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