Tarrant County has spent $90,540 on 10 large refrigerators and freezers to hold COVID-19 vaccines, which could begin arriving in North Texas as early as mid-December, according to a spokesperson for the Tarrant County Health Department.
The first doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive directly at hospitals.
The five freezers purchased by the health department will each hold 20,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which must be kept at temperatures far below zero.
The five refrigerators will be used to hold them when they are removed from the freezers.
The fridges also can each store up to 650,000 doses of vaccines from other companies, including Moderna. They don’t need to be kept as cold as Pfizer’s product.
Tarrant County has a population of more than 2 million people.
Details on who gets the vaccine first and how it will be rolled out are still being determined but the purchase of the freezers and refrigerators is an indication the process -- even in its early stages -- is well underway.
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The five refrigerators, manufactured by Thermo Fisher, cost $10,723 each. The freezers, made by the same company, cost $7,385 each.
Tarrant County’s purchase will be reimbursed by the federal government through CARES Act money, the spokesperson said.
Some of the units are already in place and others are still being installed, he said.
The county is not disclosing the exact location of the freezers and refrigerators for security reasons.
Health experts have said health care workers and first responders will get the first doses. They will likely be available to the general public in the second quarter of 2021.