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Governor Bullock announces first round COVID-19 vaccine plan

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PHOTO BY ANNA SCHVETS

Health care workers to receive state’s first allotment

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

MONTANA – Gov. Steve Bullock today announced that the first round of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, expected to be delivered to Montana in mid-December, will target health care workers at Montana’s major hospitals.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is expected to receive an estimated first dose allocation of 9,750 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines as soon as Dec. 15.

Second round doses will be provided to the state in a separate shipment prior to the second dose schedule, which is 21 days apart from the first. The federal government requires that the first dose of this particular vaccine be shipped and delivered directly to facilities with cold storage access.

Round one allocations will be provided to the following locations:

  • Billings Clinic, Billings
  • St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings
  • Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, Bozeman
  • St. James Hospital, Butte
  • Benefis Health System, Great Falls
  • Great Falls Clinic, Great Falls
  • St. Peter’s Health, Helena
  • Kalispell Regional Medical Center, Kalispell
  • Providence St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula
  • Community Medical Center, Missoula

The allocation each location receives will be based off of a survey conducted by DPHHS with Montana hospitals on the estimated number of healthcare workers that will receive the vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine contains 975 doses per box. 

With the requirement of cold storage and the large number of doses per box with the Pfizer vaccine, the plan to allocate the first round to Montana’s large hospitals for their health care workers is the most expedient and best utilizes the resources available.

Montana is anticipated to receive a second round shipment of vaccines a week subsequent to the first round that will contain both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The second round allocation will focus on rural hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. The Moderna vaccine includes 100 doses per box and does not require cold storage, making it more easily delivered to rural settings or small facilities.

The national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices crafted recommendations that both health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities be offered vaccines in the initial phase and the recommendations are supported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. To ensure a fair and equitable distribution, Montana will be guided by the ACIP recommendations.

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