The Missoula City County Health Department confirmed with KGVO News on Wednesday that the former Lucky’s Market in Southgate Mall is being leased as a site for mass COVID 19 vaccinations.

COVID 19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr confirmed that talks are in progress to secure the large vacant building.

“We have toured the old Lucky's supermarket over at Southgate Mall and we are finalizing getting a lease so that we can set up a bigger vaccination clinic currently at the health department,” said Farr.  “Our space is really limited so what we're going to be doing is moving our operation over to the old Lucky's supermarket.”

Before anyone decides to camp out in front of the building to be first in line for the vaccine, Farr said vaccinations will be by appointment only.

“It's going to be by appointment only,” she said. “We do know that there are approximately 39,000 people in Missoula County that will fit into the 1 B phase, and so obviously we don't want all 39,000 people showing up same time and we are only one of multiple sources for vaccine in the community. So we will be putting it forward as an appointment only.”

The one determining factor in the equation is access to the vaccine. Farr provided details.

“The state of Montana only actually gets allocated a limited amount of vaccine right now,” she said. “Then they look at the population and the number of people that are in each phase in each county, and then each county is allocated a certain number of doses. In Missoula County, what we're allocated to receive is only about 1,500 doses countywide that's spread out through all vaccine providers per week.”

Farr said the Health Department is working to develop a self-scheduling system for vaccinations.

“I believe we're looking at using a self-scheduling option through the use of technology,” she said. “Additionally, having people at the call center that can help someone if they don't have a smart phone or if they don't have access to a computer, then they can call that number to find information for it. Once we are at the point where we can start scheduling people, they'll be able to help people who don't have access to that technology.”

Doing the math, with only 1,500 doses per week and 39,000 people in the Phase 1 B group, it would take 26 weeks to successfully vaccinate the entire group.

The Health Department’s number for COVID 19 is 258-INFO (4636).

All information related to vaccination coordination in Missoula County will be posted online at covid19.missoula.co.

 

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