The City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health dates back to the city’s beginnings. Philadelphia’s center city was created following William Penn’s, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, idea for a lush city area with plenty of open spaces. It was the first American city to provide free hospital care for its poorest residents at the Philadelphia Almshouse, built in 1732. Philadelphia was also home to the nation’s first medical school, children’s hospital, and eye hospital. The Department of Public Health’s current structure was created by an Ordinance of December 31, 1919, to succeed the Department of Health Charities. Their service range includes the city of Philadelphia.
The acute need for ultra-low temperature preservation of emerging mRNA COVID-19 vaccines challenged medical facility professionals to quickly refresh or learn the logistics of ultra-low freezers and expand their existing storage capabilities to meet demand.
The City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health was among the earliest COVID-19 immunization jurisdictions designated in the USA. As the sixth largest city in the nation, the need to scale up storage capacity in advance of providing immunizations was clear. They needed more ultra-low freezers. Key product concerns for the Department of Public Health included quick recovery, notification of temperature deviation, independent data logging capability, and the ability to interface with dry ice.
B Medical Systems supplied multiple units, including the 23.9 cu.ft. Model U701 ultra-low freezer, for the city’s central biorepository.
B Medical Systems Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers Performance Attributes
- Adjustable setpoint from -86°C to -20°C
- Ability to operate in high ambient conditions of up to 43°C
- Uniform and stable temperature distribution
- Fast temperature recovery after door opening
- Optional CO2 backup and extended holdover time in case of power failure
Through a partnership with FEMA and other federal bodies, the City of Philadelphia established a Community Vaccination Center (CVC), known as the Center City Vaccination Center, in March 2021. The Center City Vaccination Center could distribute up to 6,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses per day upon reaching their maximum operating capacity. This was in addition to the 42,000 doses per week allocated by the federal government. The expanded capacity enabled the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health to set up community vaccination sites with the city’s vaccination allotment and provide much-needed immunizations to their entire service population.
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