New Life Scientific, Inc., a local lab equipment dealer operating out of Cridersville, Ohio, has expanded their offerings to further support the fight against COVID-19. Originally supplying only viral testing instrumentation used in coronavirus diagnoses, the company has since begun repairing and reselling ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers, which are used in a multitude of diagnostic and research procedures -- including storage of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for longer than two weeks. New Life Scientific's work with ULT freezers has enabled them to offer some much-needed relief to the exhausted ULT freezer supply chain.
Upon its authorization in December 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was only approved for storage between -60°C and -80°C. Consequently, the demand for ultra-low temperature freezers rose sharply as thousands of clinics, hospitals, and other facilities surged to acquire them. This shift in the market strained freezer manufacturers, so lead times lengthened considerably. In fact, some would-be buyers were told they would have to wait over a month to receive a ULT freezer. "All the other low-temp freezers I saw were, like, six weeks out," says Dustin Connor, Emergency Management Coordinator for the city of Terrell, Texas and a customer of New Life Scientific. "They [ULT freezer manufacturers] were [estimating] forty plus business days."
With manufacturers struggling to supply buyers with freezers, New Life Scientific and other third-party vendors stepped in. The team at New Life Scientific purchases used freezers and, drawing from their team's considerable refrigeration experience, proceed to repair, service, and test them. Once confirmed to reach acceptable temperatures, New Life Scientific then resells the freezers to any facilities that need them on a tight deadline, or just cannot afford new.
"What we see for the future...is really going into more of an in-depth renovation of [ULT freezers]," said Richard Lavy, CEO, founder, and one of the senior technicians of New Life Scientific, Inc. According to Lavy, the technical team at New Life Scientific is aiming to double down on their efforts to refurbish freezers. By putting every ULT freezer through a standardized service procedure, Lavy and his team hope to provide used freezers of higher quality than ever before.
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