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The “cold chain” used by Dippin’ Dots and COVID-19 vaccine

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Dec 17, 2020
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Dippin' Dots on display in New York in 2019. Brian Ach/Getty Images

The “cold chain” used by Dippin’ Dots and COVID-19 vaccine

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Dec 17, 2020
Dippin' Dots on display in New York in 2019. Brian Ach/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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It almost sounds like the setup for a joke: What does the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus have in common with Dippin’ Dots?

Except the answer isn’t a punchline: They’re both distributed via a “cold chain.”

Dippin’ Dots, which are a frozen, pelletized ice cream snack often found at sporting events, are made using liquid nitrogen. In order to reach ice cream stands at stadiums or amusement parks, they have to be kept at extremely low temperatures using dry ice — just like the Pfizer vaccines.

Science journalist Maddie Bender wrote about the comparison between Dippin’ Dots and the coronavirus vaccines for Popular Science. To listen to her conversation with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal, use the media player above.

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