A warehouse in the US city of Baltimore may seem an unlikely place to help save the country from the Covid-19 pandemic, but Brian Gallizzo is prepared to do just that. “We are ready, we have our tanks full,” Gallizzo, chief financial officer for the six-decade-old family firm Capitol Carbonic, told AFP. How his company will help is by keeping things cool — extremely cool. Capitol produces dry ice, a necessary component to distribute pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, which could receive government approval soon. Pfizer called Capitol because it was on the hunt for the quarter-inch pellets it spits out of a machine resembling a giant spaghetti maker in its Baltimore warehouse. The dry ice pellets are needed to keep Pfizer’s vaccine at just the right, very chilly, temperature. US regulators will decide next week whether to allow Pfizer to become the first major drugmaker to deploy its vaccine, and manufacturers like Capitol Carbonic are already finding themselves involved in one of the most important medical supply chains in history. The vaccines from Pfizer and others nearing approval appear to be the United States’ best chance for ending the world’s largest Covid-19 outbreak, which is again surging to alarming levels nationwide. But getting shots to people nationwide will be a logistical undertaking that will test the capabilities of the world’s largest shipping firms, the small businesses that undergird the US dry ice supply and the many other companies in between. “We’ve never experienced anything like this before in the history of vaccine administration in the US, let alone globally,” said Omar Chane of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ life sciences management consultancy. Not unlike Antarctica Anticipation for a vaccine’s approval is particularly high in the US, where Covid-19 has killed some 270,000 people and infected more than 13.6 million. Several vaccines are under development, but the candidate from Pfizer and German firm BioNTech is nearest to approval and at the center of the US government’s immunization plan.