BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that is now being distributed across Maryland has a unique temperature requirement.

It has to be stored at very cold temperatures.

One local dry ice company is soon going to be helping pharmacies store the vaccine as it starts to become more widely available.


At Capitol Carbonic in southwest Baltimore, their specialty is making storage extra frosty, and that’s exactly what pharmacies need as they start to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

“The temperature for this vaccine is critical, and I’m hearing anywhere between -70 and -94, and dry ice is 109 below zero,” John Dillinger, General Manager of Capitol Carbonic, said.

The company recently started getting phone calls about buying dry ice for pharmacies and health centers that will administer the vaccine since many don’t have freezers that can get ultracold.

“Most people don’t know what it is,” Brian Gallizzo, CFO of Capitol Carbonic, said. “It is critical to the infrastructure of this country. It’s in the food business, the biotech pharmaceutical business.”

Little pellets of dry ice will be used for the Pfizer vaccine. They’ll soon go out to pharmacies all across the Baltimore-area once more doses of the vaccine are shipped in.

“It’s an all hands on deck type thing,” Dillinger said. “It’s a national event. It kind of transcends business.”

Capitol Carbonic has plenty of carbon dioxide on hand that’s used to make the dry ice, and they’re ready to start to get it out as Maryland continues to work to get more people vaccinated.

“However we can help, we would like to help,” Dillinger said.

Capitol Carbonic said they expect to ship out the dry ice to pharmacies in the coming weeks.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller