Vaccination Coordination Team Leader Adriane Beck with Update
Missoula County Disaster and Emergency Services Director Adriane Beck is also the COVID 19 Vaccination Coordination Team leader.
Beck appeared with Missoula County Commissioners on Thursday morning and answered questions from the media about the progress with the various vaccination clinics, as well as supply issues and preparing to make the jump to the next phase of vaccinations.
Beck addressed the challenge of administering a COVID vaccine that requires two applications and described the process as somewhat of a teeter-totter affair.
“So what we've tried to do is kind of create, if you can kind of envision this, a teeter-totter effect,” began Beck. “That’s where we kind of push a bunch of vaccine at a particular provider for them to do first shot administration, and we keep pushing, pushing, pushing until they start hitting their second dose, and then we back off and we find another provider to push for a first shot dosage, so that that so that that provider who goes into a second shot dose, their daily doses that they're giving doesn't change. It's just that they're seeing that patient for the second time.”
Beck said administering the vaccinations requires the ability to look back on what has already occurred.
“It's important to know where we've been as far as how many doses we've administered and kind of looking in our rear view mirror,” she said. “That that kind of informs us of where we need to go and when it makes sense to start looking at the current phasing that we're in, and any changes or modifications to that doesn't need to be opened up more. We ask when is the appropriate time to do that based on how many people we vaccinated, against the data that we have for our kind of holistic population.”
Missoula County has been vaccinating Phases 1 A and Priority 1 B, (those 70 or older, or Native Americans or People of Color) but plans are being made to eventually move to the next phase.
“We are continuously evaluating that,” she said. “In fact today we are meeting with a kind of a group of stakeholders that has all this data to really look at just that is when can we anticipate moving into the next tier of Phase One C, recognizing that it is a very large number. You know, our estimates are that that's about 40,000 people, which is why that initial stratification was necessary in the beginning.”
Because of the sheer number of individuals in the next phase, Beck said all options are on the table to be able to serve that many people.
“We want to have as many options and as many places as we can so that the public has as easy a time navigating and finding a vaccine appointment when they can,” she said. “That's going to require lots of facilities to be able to do that, but we're just not quite there yet.”
Listen to the entire presentation by Adriane Beck on the Missoula County website.