LOVELAND, Ohio — Millions of doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine have been shipped around the world in an effort to control the virus, and one Loveland-based company is a key part of helping the pharmaceutical giant keep the vaccines cold.
Hospitals around the world are administering the vaccine in hopes of protecting frontline healthcare workers and, eventually, everyone else. It’s a Herculean task made possible in part because of Cold Jet Ice, LLC.
"We're just very privileged to be a part of the solution,” said Gene Cooke, Cold Jet president and CEO.
The company produced the equipment that produces dry ice.
"Pfizer actually takes delivery of equipment from us. We provide the installation, we provide the training, we provide the support services, and then they operate and produce the dry ice in real time," Cooke said.
In the second quarter of 2020, the company said they were feeling left out in the cold.
"Those were dark days,” Cooke said. “We sell to global manufacturing companies. As we remember, not only were we locked down as individuals, but companies also shut down in April and May."
Cold Jet got the call after Pfizer developed the first vaccine to get the FDA emergency use authorization it needed to keep its product at subzero temperatures.
"We went from no visibility to 'Oh my gosh' in the second half, really the last one-third of 2020,” Cooke said.
Their role in the vaccine’s rollout represented a 200% boost in business, all built initially on hope.
"It really was an unbelievable process because you have to operate on the assumption of authorization but you have to live in the reality of maybe authorization doesn't occur and all of this gets mothballed before it even gets started,” he said.
With approval here and abroad, he's glad Cold Jet and its 150 local employees could help in the rollout process.
"This is amazing science, and we are going to benefit from it as human beings, so to see that unfold has been awesome,” Cooke said.