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Wausau dry ice supplier on standby to help distribute COVID-19 vaccine

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DRY ice

WAUSAU (WAOW)- Hope is here as Wisconsin receives its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and American Welding and Gas in Wausau is prepared to help with distribution.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines needs to be stored in below freezing temperatures until used.

American Welding and Gas gets about 10,000 pounds of dry ice in a week.

"It's physical carbon dioxide I believe it is -100 degrees so it is extremely cold," manager Doug Adams said.

The company already helps hospitals, but Adams said he is gearing up for the huge demand that may come for dry ice as vaccine distribution continues, especially in the more rural areas.

"Dry ice does not melt it dissipates 10 to 20 percent a day, and over time it disappears so you want to make sure you have enough produce at the required temperature for a certain amount of time," Adams said.

However, it might be tough to store the vaccines if there is a shortage of dry ice.

"It will probably be a feast or famine and that will be across the state," he said.

Dry ice is not the only product that is in high demand, the company is also sending out high volumes of oxygen tanks to hospitals, patients receiving at home care, and ambulances.

Pre-pandemic, Adams said they would send out 100 oxygen tanks a day, now they are sending out up to 300.

Adams also said they will work to meet the demands of consumers and hospitals when it comes to giving out dry ice.