Ravalli County Public Health will post a vaccine distribution update weekly to provide information on the number of doses the county has received and other relevant information for county residents.
In a press release Thursday, Ravalli County Public Health Director Tiffany Webber said the vaccine continues to be very rare in Montana and across the country.
“Public Health continues to communicate with our partners at the local, state and federal levels to ensure Ravalli County providers are able to provide safe and effective distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Webber said.
Later next week, anyone in Ravalli County wanting to receive the Public Health COVID-19 vaccine will be able to access an online form and register.
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“We will be asking community members to assist our senior population who may not have the ability or access to submit their information,” Webber said.
She does not intend to move to a mass distribution site, but when the vaccine doses arrive, she will advocate for allocation to multiple sites.
“It makes more sense for people to be vaccinated in a safe clinic rather than in a mass shift,” Webber said. “My biggest concern is safety. Nobody wants to try to pick up someone who has a reaction in a car outside in February or March.
She hopes other local providers will be able to offer vaccination appointments in the coming weeks. And understands that planning and scheduling appointments is difficult with the limited quantities of vaccines arriving in irregular and unpredictable shipments.
“Ravalli County vaccine providers are as eager to begin a countywide vaccination effort as our residents are to receive the vaccine,” Webber said. “The distribution of the vaccine is not only the responsibility of Public Health; all providers in our county are working together to deliver the vaccine safely and effectively.
In Ravalli County, 10 providers are certified and registered with the state to administer the vaccine, including: Bitterroot Drug, Timber Ridge Pharmacy, Ravalli Family Medicine, Albertsons, Ridgeway Pharmacy, Corvallis Drug, Florence Pharmacy, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital , Sapphire Health Center and Ravalli County Public Health. To find their contact details, visit https://ravalli.us/643/COVID-19-Vaccine-Info. Each vaccine provider has their own method of registering for an appointment.
“This is an unprecedented effort in Ravalli County as well as in the entire United States; every community and every state will experience challenges and mistakes,” Webber said. “Please continue to follow any public health guidance or directives – wear your mask, wash your hands and watch your distance. Keep your cohort groups small and stay home if you are sick.
As of Friday, the Montana COVID website reported that 99,248 doses had been administered in Montana and 24,512 Montananese were fully immunized.