UNC System research institutions increasing COVID-19 vaccine cold-storage capacity by 1.86 million vials


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The 15 research institutions within the University of North Carolina System are increasing the state’s total COVID-19 vaccine cold-storage capacity by 1.86 million two-milliliter vials, the UNC system announced Monday.

A total of 32 large freezers and 29 smaller mobile units are being distributed across the 15 schools.

The freezers are capable of storing vials at temperatures as low as -112 Fahrenheit, the UNC System said.

“Vaccines stored at UNC institutions will be distributed according to the State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan at the direction of state and local public health officials,” a release from the System said.

Universities that serve rural areas and underserved populations will receive additional mobile freezer units, including the state’s six Historically Minority-Serving Institutions, UNC said.

Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Winston-Salem State University will each receive three smaller mobile freezer units.

Appalachian State University and UNC Asheville will also receive two mobile units to support communities in western North Carolina.

The freezers are provided by the NC Policy Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“The UNC System is uniquely suited to assist, and campuses have already reported being contacted by statewide and local health officials regarding the complex logistics involved in COVID-19 vaccine storage and distribution,” said Dr. Jeffrey Warren, executive director of the NC Policy Collaboratory.

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