TRENTON, MAINE, Maine — A small manufacturing business in Maine is playing a key part in the handling and distribution of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.
Tempshield in Trenton makes cryo-protective gloves used by people who handle the boxes of vaccines stored in frigid cold temperatures.
"We are doing our best to fulfill all these orders as fast as we can," says Paul Larochelle, COO at Tempshield.
The Maine company says it is receiving calls from hospitals, pharmacies, and vaccine distribution companies from all over the world.
"There is plenty of others around the world that are realizing what they need and finding the right product and coming to us, and that's what we are working on today and we will be for many months to come," says Larochelle.
Workers at Tempshield are working around the clock to help out with the demand and fulfill all of the orders.
"Right here in little Trenton Maine, making a product that is shipping all over the world," says Larochelle.
Larochelle says some orders being fulfilled are for hundreds of pairs and are scheduled to go out through March of next year. He adds most of the workers are veterans who have more than 10 years of experience making the gloves.
"We've got some people that have only had one or two days in the last two or three months, and everybody is producing and cooperating at an outstanding level," says Larochelle.
The gloves are 100% handmade.
"With the pandemic now, we have become very popular because there aren't many people like us that do make these gloves, and we are pretty perfect in making them!" says Judith Barris, Tempshield sewing room coordinator.
The Tempshield gloves provide protection against temperatures as cold as minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit
"We hear stories of people having the vaccine and not having the right PPE to handle it," says Larochelle. So they are working around the clock to fill all the orders and get these cryo-protective gloves in the hands of thousands of nurses and doctors.
Larochelle adds besides the gloves, they also make aprons to handle products being stores in low-temperature freezers, in dry ice, and in nitrogen.
"They are very experienced, they know what they are doing, they know why they are doing it, and they don't take it lightly in making the gloves that they are making," says Barris.
"When we get the orders we always ship the next day, but now with the pandemic, it has not been easy more and more people need these gloves," says Barris.
Many employees told NEWS CENTER Maine, they felt very good to help make a difference during these critical pandemic times. "It really hits home, and the people are proud, and they should be because this all comes down to the hands here, protecting the hands out there," says Larochelle.
Larochelle says they are hiring some temporary workers but the training curve is extensive to be able to make the gloves for those handling the Pfizer covid vaccines.