Fresno County fixes freezer just in time for Moderna vaccine shipment

Local News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A sigh of relief from Fresno County officials after a broken freezer is fixed just in time to receive another expected shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

There was concern within the Fresno County Department of Public Health that it was not able to receive more Moderna doses next week due to the freezer failure. It had temperature control issues and the doses had to be moved to a back-up freezer.

“We do have our back up freezer that we are storing them in at this time,” said Joe Prado with the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

The breakdown came as thousands of people were getting vaccinated at the Fresno Fairgrounds.

“It did not hurt at all,” said Rebecca Law as she got vaccinated. “It was totally fine, I didn’t even feel it actually.”

Prado said he wants to be absolutely sure the freezer is fully functional before ordering more of the vaccine.

“So, we will be evaluating that before we order our Moderna vaccine,” he said.

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention recommends the Moderna doses be stored between -25 and -15 degrees Celsius.

The back-up freezer is holding the doses currently in Fresno County. The doses that expected next week will be stored in the original freezer.

Prado said that if there is another freezer failure, local hospitals can accommodate doses that could be at-risk.

“It is not completely on the county to store all of the vaccines. We can direct ship to providers, so that is a key piece.”

The Moderna freezers and the Pfizer freezers work differently to store that company’s version of the COVID-19 vaccine. Fresno County plans to request two shipments of both vaccines next week.

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