COVID 19 vaccination efforts are underway in Missoula County.

According to COVID 19.missoula.co, 10,138 people have already been vaccinated. 7,645 have received their first dose and 2,493 have received their second dose, as of Tuesday.

Office of Emergency Management Director Adriane Beck provided this update as of Tuesday afternoon.

“We are in the transition into 1 B,” said Beck. “Generally all of the providers that are actively vaccinating in Missoula County are in agreement that they have begun the transition to one B, albeit very slowly, as vaccine supply continues to be a very limiting factor.”

Beck said the speed at which vaccinations can occur depends wholly on the supply of vaccine.

“Going forward, what we have learned from DPHHS and Governor Gianforte is that what we can expect for the foreseeable future is a portion of what Montana's allocation per week, and that for Missoula county translates to approximately 1,500 new doses which means 1,500 first shots of vaccine coming into Missoula County per week.”

Beck said the two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, require different handling.

“Typically we see a combination of it coming in based on what the provider that has their shipment being allocated is capable of storing,” she said. “I think as most people have learned, the Pfizer vaccine does require some very specialized storage by way of ultra cold storage, whereas the Moderna is much more similar to other vaccine storage, and so for example, in this week, we learned that two providers would be receiving Pfizer vaccine and none of our providers were receiving any new doses for the Moderna.”

Beck said each provider will be handling the distribution of the vaccines differently, as their capabilities allow.

“I think what you'll see is that while vaccine supply is so limited, different providers are going to utilize different strategies which will be any combination of the above,” she said. “They will make appointment links available that our call center staff will be happy to help folks navigate through, or in some cases, they will be using their electronic health records to reach out to their patients directly. We are discouraging folks from contacting their providers for the express purpose that they're just inundated right now.”

The website to help Missoula residents navigate through the vaccinations can be accessed here, or call the Health Department’s information line at 258-INFO (4636) and choose the prompt for a live operator.

Residents should look on the website for the information for their regular health care providers. People who do not have regular providers should watch the page on the website for news of public clinics, which have not yet been announced.

 

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