Winia's low temperature COVID-19 vaccine freezer wins FDA approval

By Lim Chang-won Posted : March 24, 2021, 16:21 Updated : March 24, 2021, 16:21

[Courtesy of Winia Dimchae ]

SEOUL -- A portable ultra-low temperature freezer capable of keeping COVID-19 vaccines, developed by the leading maker of refrigerators specially designed to store Kimchi, a traditional fermented vegetable dish, has secured approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Sales will begin in June through U.S. channels such as Amazon.

Winia Dimchae said on March 24 that Medibox, has completed brand registration, technology patents and the certification of standards at home since it unveiled a 90-liter vaccine freezer powered by an external battery pack in January. The company said Medibox has better functions and usability than other vaccine freezers.

All COVID-19 vaccines released so far can be stored customarily, the company said, adding Medibox has a built-in menu to set different storage temperatures for each vaccine, allowing optimal temperature settings without additional training.

"FDA's approval is the result of our excellent technology recognized in the global market," an unnamed Winia Dimchae official said. "We will make sure that COVID-19 vaccines will be released safely and quickly to help rapid inoculation and mass immunization."

Medibox can keep COVID-19 vaccine doses for up to 18,000 people. The freezer can maintain temperatures between minus 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit) and 10 degrees for up to two hours. Weighing 65 kilograms (143 pounds), it can be carried easily.

Some COVID-19 vaccines are required to be stored in extremely low temperatures before vaccination. Because of the complicated storage conditions of vaccines, the World Health Organization has speculated that developing countries may find it hard to stably distribute vaccines without using ultra-low temperature freezers.
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