Dry ice is red hot for one Cambridge business

BOSTON — Business is booming at Acme Ice in Cambridge. Workers can’t shovel dry ice quickly enough into boxes to be shipped.

“The satellite hospitals are making sure we’re ready and available to deliver their dry ice so when they’re ready to replenish the vaccines they’re able to,” said Marc Savenor, owner of Acme Ice.

RELATED: Boston Medical Center receives first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

Savenor has owned the business for 42 years and his dry ice has never been hotter. His phones are buzzing non-stop. “We’re very busy. The hospitals are calling us and everybody is getting ready to give out the vaccine, so the unknown is here,” he said.

Dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, is -109 degrees Fahrenheit, which is colder than Antarctica. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept almost that cold.

“The dry ice is what the portable refrigerant in the portable freezing refrigerant that they need to transport this vaccine and to replenish the vaccines at the hospitals to keep them cold enough until they are going to be used,” Savenor said.

Massachusetts expects to receive more than two-million coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of March. That will require an unprecedented amount of dry ice to be delivered. “It’s very exciting to be saving lives and keeping people’s mindsets going at a different rate. We need to change it here, so we’re so extremely proud of ourselves to be part of the supply-chain,” said Savenor.

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Acme Ice is delivering dry ice to 40 hospitals across Massachusetts and has even received requests from as far away as California.

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