University of Alaska Southeast

Ultra Cold Environment for Vaccine


Sitka Fire Chief Craig Warren poses with an Eppendorf New Brunswick U101 Innova freezer provided by the UAS Sitka Campus. (certified to -86C) UAS Campus Director Paul Kraft and Chief Warren signed an agreement of use, loaning the freezer to the Sitka Fire Department for the duration of the pandemic for vaccine distribution and storage. It was agreed the Fire Department is the best location for the freezer. In addition to a backup power system (necessary for constant temperature), the Fire Department is staffed 24 hours a day to offer monitoring of and access to the freezer contents. Prior to the loan, the freezer was unpacked and tested at UAS. Then, it was transported to the Fire Station for an additional week of operation at ultra cold temperatures before being approved for vaccine storage. Though not a large freezer at 3.6 cubic feet, there is enough space to store a considerable quantity of vaccine containers, as they are small in size. Sitka's location and transportation infrastructure will allow the use of the freezer to be a depot for vaccine distribution throughout the region of Southeast Alaska.

UAS minus 86C Freezer on loan to Sitka Fire Dept
Image Label: UAS minus 86C Freezer on loan to Sitka Fire Dept