Lenexa nonprofit buys enough cold storage units to keep 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Lenexa nonprofit Heart to Heart International recently bought additional cold storage units to prepare for storing the new COVID-19 vaccines. Above, installation of the cold storage units in August. Photo courtesy Heart to Heart International.

Lenexa-based relief agency Heart to Heart International recently bought three additional cold storage units to prepare for storing doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine that will be distributed around the Kansas City region and beyond.

Kim Carroll, chief executive officer of Heart to Heart International, said the group had been researching, fundraising and pricing cold storage units for the past year in anticipation of the need to store vital medicines and vaccines.

One of the units is an ultra-cold storage freezer large enough to store thousands of doses of vaccines with a capability of temperatures of -80+ degrees Celsius. Photo courtesy Heart to Heart International.

“Now that we have cold storage units in place, with more to come, we have the ability to store the new COVID-19 vaccine, and we are positioned to partner with those who need our help when the vaccine is ready to distribute,” Carroll said.

Thanks in part to contributions from delivery giant FedEx, Heart to Heart garnered enough funding over the past several months to purchase three cold storage units for its warehouse.

These include:

  • a 1,200-square-foot walk-in refrigerator big enough to store up to 1 million doses of vaccines with a capability of temperatures of 2-8 degrees Celsius.
  • a 1,200-square-foot walk-in freezer large enough to store up to 1 million doses of vaccines with a capability of temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius.
  • an ultra-cold storage freezer large enough to store thousands of doses of vaccine with a capability of temperatures of -80+ degrees Celsius.

Heart to Heart International is a relief organization that frequently assists with delivering medical supplies and hygiene kits to areas around the globe struck by natural disasters or riven by political turmoil.

In March, at the start of the pandemic locally, Heart to Heart assisted with some of the initial waves of testing for COVID-19.

The group says it plans to assist with administering COVID-19 vaccinations when the time comes.