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Not your regular kitchen fridge
Health Department gets new unit to chill vaccines
health department numbers pic

With the flu season looming and the hope of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Barton County Commission Monday morning ratified the purchase of a pharmacy/laboratory refrigerator for the Health Department.

“The Barton County Health Department is in need of an additional fridge for vaccine storage,” County Administrator Phil Hathcock said. Department staff researched options and pricing, and due to a current shortage of this equipment, an available Migali EVOx-2RG 44.9 cubic-foot upright unit with two hinged, locking glass doors costing $6,236.90 was ordered.  

The department utilizes two scientific-grade refrigerators. These must maintain a consistent temperature of 37.4-41 Fahrenheit or risk ruining the vaccines they contain, which are worth up to $200,000.

Two weeks ago, one of the refrigerators broke down. Fortunately, this occurred before the department received its flu vaccinations for this year and it was able to be repaired.

However, Hathcock said the county realized a vulnerability. With flu season around the corner and the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine, more space may be required. 

The new unit is the same size as the larger of the two existing ones, he said. It is the biggest fridge they can haul into the Health Department without having to tear out a wall.

“It’s good to have a backup,” Hathcock said.