Yamhill County borrows freezer to store COVID-19 vaccine
Linfield University is lending a hand so Yamhill County can distribute a new COVID-19 vaccine.
The county's Health and Human Services Department said Tuesday that the McMinnville school will provide county public health officials space in its specialized, ultra-cold freezer to store doses of the expected coronavirus vaccine.
Potential COVID-19 vaccinees developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech will need to be stored at extremely low temperatures — minus-70 degrees —something that has complicated distribution. Documents released Tuesday by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee found that both vaccines provided strong protection against the coronavirus after one dose. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a second dose about 10 days after the first shot.
Yamhill County officials said that Linfield's department of biology would provide one of two ultra-cold freezers to store vaccine doses. The college's freezer will be moved to another location for vaccine safekeeping, officials said.
"We are grateful for the wonderful partner Linfield University has been throughout the COVID-19 event and their willingness to share this much needed asset," Lindsey Manfrin, director of Yamhill County Health & Human Services, said. "This is one more example of our great community working together."
"This is a moment when community members come together to help each other in the face of a deadly pandemic," Linfield President Miles K. Davis said. "We're happy to do our part and support health authorities who are working to get vaccines to those who need them."
Oregon expects about 150,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine initially, once it is approved by federal officials. Shipments could begin by late December.
There are about 85,800 cases of the virus in Oregon. Nearly 1,100 people have died from the illness, and another 5,000 are hospitalized.
Yamhill County has more than 1,950 cases, with 18 deaths. Newberg has about 500 cases of the illness. McMinnville has more than 800 cases.
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