It was announced on Wednesday that Missoula’s Partnership Health Center has been chosen to participate in a federal vaccination program.

Spokesman Eric Halverson has details.

“The good news is that in addition to the regular supply of vaccines that's coming to the state of Montana and then out to communities, we're now one of 250 federally qualified health centers across the country that are slated to receive a direct supply from the Bureau of Primary Health Care from the federal government,” said Halverson. “So it's in addition to the wonderful efforts and supply around the community, and we're just really excited about it.”

Halverson said there are no numbers as of yet, but PHC has begun planning how to distribute the vaccine to its most vulnerable clients.

“We're a very early on in the process of figuring out how this pipeline is going to work, how we will leverage it most effectively in collaboration with our community partners to get shots in arms as quickly as we can,” he said.  “So those details are yet to be determined. But in terms of administration, the design of the program is really to reach folks who are at highest risk of poor health outcomes.”

Halverson detailed the patients that would be receiving the new supply of probable Moderna vaccines.

“Partnership Health Center has about 6,400 Phase 1 B eligible patients, and 6,150 of those have yet to receive a vaccine,” he said. “So we're really excited about using this supply in whatever form works best, whether that's mobile outreach clinics here in our main facility in Missoula or through drive ups, whatever it takes to get those most vulnerable individuals vaccinated as quickly as we can.”

Again, Halverson emphasized the fact that Partnership Health Center will contact their clients directly about being vaccinated, so they ask that residents please do not call for a vaccine.

“This is the same thing we've done in the past, so we'll be reaching out to folks and we just ask that folks don't call us,” he said. “Please know that these vaccines are intended for Partnership Health Center patients and we're just really excited to get a hold of folks and do everything we can to vaccinate this really vulnerable population as quickly as we can.”

Halverson said he expects the first deliveries of the vaccine to arrive in early March.


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