Medical Teams International gets freezers ready for COVID-19 vaccine

Medical Teams International is getting freezers ready so the nonprofit can qualify to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

The global disaster response organization, serving refugees around the world, will soon be able to vaccinate those most at need in our state for COVID-19. Medical Teams International is already providing health care and dental care to the most vulnerable in our state.

“We’ve been providing free testing across these states to marginalized populations like farmworkers, people who are homeless, people who are lacking access to health care,” said Karen Piatt of Medical Teams International.

Medical Teams International applied to the state to become a qualified provider, but to do so they have to prove they can keep the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines cold enough.

Pro Refrigeration in Auburn is helping to add sensors to an ultracold freezer donated by UW. They will be getting more freezers for their mobile units.

“This is live data tracking. We’re monitoring the temperature of the freezer,” explained VanderGiessen, CEO of Pro Refrigeration.

“Below -80 (degrees F) is what they’re looking for, I knew it was going to be a challenge.”

The sensors use cellular and cloud technology to store data. VanderGiessen had previously done pro bono projects for Medical Teams International. For this project, they teamed up with Brett Cocking, VP of Amazon Business Group at CEI America, to help with tracking.

Not only does the technology keep track of temperature, it gives users time to intervene in case of problems.

“If it sees vaccines trending towards a dangerous level or it is warming up too quickly, it will send an alert before it reaches that temperature so you can take corrective actions,” said Cocking.

The technology will give Medical Teams International the opportunity to vaccinate for COVID-19.

“It means the world to Medical Teams to be able to distribute the vaccine,” said Piatt.