CBS Detroit – On Tuesday, Ford Motor Company said it had purchased a dozen ultra-cold specialty freezers to keep a supply of COVID-19 doses when they become available. In an article by The Detroit News, the freezers are part of a plan to offer COVID-19 vaccines to their workforce.
Kelli Felker, Global Manufacturing and Labor Communications manager for Ford said to The Detroit News, “The health and safety of our workforce is our top priority,” adding, “So we have ordered a dozen freezers to make a COVID-19 vaccine available to our employees on a voluntary basis when it becomes available. Beyond that, the situation is really fluid.”READ MORE: Michigan Announces $1.5 Million Tuition Giveaway, 100 Children To Receive $15,000
MORE FROM CBS DETROIT: Michigan Inmate Captured More Than A Week After Jail EscapeREAD MORE: AAA Offers 'Tow To Go' Program During Memorial Day Weekend
The freezers are part of a plan for when pharmaceutical companies have a vaccine ready to distribute. The UAW has also called for the automakers to help in the distribution of potential vaccines. Currently, Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. have announced they have two-dose mRNA-based vaccines developed that they claim are up to 95% effective against COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine requires an ultra-cold -112°F storage temperature, which would seem to explain Ford’s recent purchase. The Moderna vaccine can be stored at -4°F or below, making it within the realm of a normal freezer and can handle being kept for a few hours at room temperature. Pfizer has requested that it be allowed to distribute its vaccine for emergency use by the FDA, which would allow the vaccine to be available in limited quantities by next month. Moderna has had its vaccine tested in clinical trials at Henry Ford Health System.
MORE FROM CBS DETROIT: More Than 50 Coronavirus Outbreaks Reported In Michigan Schools Monday
The Detroit News also reports GM is planning on plans to provide vaccinations to its employees but hasn’t gone as far as Ford has in procuring specialty freezers according to GM spokesman Pat Morrissey. Fiat Chrysler and the UAW had no comment. Automakers implemented practices in May to protect their workers and get their assembly moving again, which have delayed production on some vehicles. The companies and unions say the safety-practices against COVID-19 they have adopted are working, preventing the spread within their manufacturing plants.
MORE FROM CBS DETROIT: 34-Year-Old Detroit Man Charged In Armed Robbery, Assaulting Police
MORE NEWS: Holiday Travel And Gas: What To Expect At The Pump
© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Information from The Detroit News contributed to this report.