Gaithersburg company hoping to help with COVID vaccine via dry ice production

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GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — The Gaithersburg location of Roberts Oxygen, a distributor of medical and industrial gases, is hoping to help ship and store the future COVID vaccine via dry ice production.

“This is a team effort. Everyone in the nation, whatever they can do to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 should be helping, and that’s what we’re doing providing dry ice and medical gases to help support,” said Reggie Wright, the regional store manager for Roberts Oxygen.

Their building at Gaithersburg alone is able to produce around 3,200 pounds of dry ice an hour. This is essential in the storage and distribution of a possible COVID vaccine, which would have to be kept at very low temperatures.

“I think we’re very well prepared for this situation,” said production and distribution manager Ron Kirby. “We’re very anxious about helping out in any way that we can.”

This comes following an announcement from the company Pfizer saying that tests showed their COVID-19 vaccine to be 95% effective and to have very little side effects. They have since applied for an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This is not the first time that Roberts Oxygen has helped in times of need related to COVID-19. During a surge in March and April, they delivered medical gas to hospitals in D.C. and Maryland.

“We’re able to help with the gas, we’re able to help with the drives, we’re able to support the nation,” said Wright.

Roberts Oxygen in Gaithersburg is the only dry ice production plant in Montgomery County. The company services many states in the mid-Atlantic region.

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