Md. acquires freezers to store Pfizer vaccine, official says

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan kicked off a Wednesday meeting of the Board of Public Works on a somber note, ticking off the latest data on COVID-19 in the state.

The board also discussed logistics for vaccine storage.

“The sad reality is that the surge of COVID-19 is rapidly escalating, and it’s placing an enormous strain on our health care system and our economy,” Hogan said.

On Tuesday, the Hogan announced a range of actions, including one that orders all bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. That order takes effect on Friday at 5 p.m., but Hogan said it would take more than executive orders to make a dent in the spread of the coronavirus.

“But more important than any public health order is our willingness to take personal responsibility for our own actions and to make the necessary sacrifices in order to protect ourselves and one another,” he said.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the board, which includes Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, heard from the state’s Director of Procurement Dana Dembrow.

Dembrow explained that the state is ready to accept delivery of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, thanks to the purchase of equipment that can handle the storage needs of the vaccine, which must be stored at a temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius.

“We have already purchased five such freezers, and they were delivered last week,” he said. “We have also negotiated with the same vendor, the opportunity to purchase, at the same price, any additional freezers.”

Dembrow said as a result, the state is in “good shape” to receive the vaccine when available.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up