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North Kansas City Company Takes Ultra-Cold Vaccine Storage Off The Grid

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Courtesy of Vaccine Pods
Vaccine Pods supply uninterrupted power for ultra-low temperature vaccine freezers.

Now vaccines requiring ultra-low temperatures can be stored with uninterrupted power in underserved areas.

Former Kansas City firefighter Edward Collins was looking for a way to help his community through the coronavirus pandemic. "That public service side, I don't think it ever gets out of your blood," he says.

When he realized that vaccine freezers could only preserve their contents for as long as power sources stayed charged, Collins recognized an opportunity to help.

"We determined through WHO that currently 50% of all vaccines get thrown away worldwide due to improper temperature and handling," he explains.

Collins put together a team to develop a system for supplying reliable energy to freezers maintaining ultra-low temperatures.

The team ultimately designed freestanding units called Vaccine Pods, contraptions capable of using solar energy and wind energy to generate sufficient power for freezers contained within them.

Batteries to store the energy produced. Vaccine Pods also come with back-up generators.

Originally intending to serve remote areas within the United States, the company now anticipates market growth in Africa.

"The amount of vaccines that are actually reaching people's arms over there is almost nil." Collins notes. "They need a solution for the power problem."

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.