GREAT FALLS — Governor Greg Gianforte on Tuesday announced that Montana is moving into Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.
In Phase 1B, COVID-19 vaccines are available to Montanans 70 years of age and older, 16 to 69 years of age with a high-risk medical condition, and Native Americans and other people of color who may be at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications.
Vaccine distribution to long-term care facilities (including nursing homes and assisted living facilities) continues; all staff and residents at these nearly 300 facilities are expected to receive their first dose by the end of the January, according to the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services.
People in Phase 1B are encouraged to contact their local county or tribal health departments to check on vaccination availability and scheduling.
Phase 1C includes frontline essential workers, persons aged 60 years and older, people living in congregate care and correctional facilities, and people aged 16-59 with medical conditions not included in Phase 1b that may have elevated risk of COVID-19 complications.
Phase 2 is the final phase for all remaining Montanans aged 16 or older.
To date, 57,221 doses have been administered in Montana, and 9,408 Montanans have been fully immunized. Montana’s COVID-19 vaccine supply continues to depend on federal supply and allocations.
“Focusing on the most vulnerable Montanans in our vaccine distribution will save lives. Thanks to the hard work of our local health jurisdictions and health care workers, Montana’s most vulnerable now have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines,” Gianforte said in a news release.
The Cascade City-County Health Department, Alluvion Health, Great Falls Clinic, and Benefis Health System announced on Monday they are teaming up to begin offering the COVID-19 vaccine to community members age 70 and older.
Who: Montana’s 1B vaccination tier has been defined to include anyone who is age 70 or older or meets certain other health criteria. However, given that the number of Cascade County residents who fall into tier 1B currently exceeds vaccine supply, we are limiting vaccine administration to only those who are age 70 and older at this time.
When: At 9 a.m. Thursday, January 21, we will open 1,500 slots for vaccines to be scheduled. These slots will be for appointments on Monday, January 25, Wednesday, January 27, and Friday, January 29 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so community members who are eligible should go online to schedule as soon as possible to secure their slots.
How: Appointments must be scheduled online by clicking here: Benefis.org/COVIDvaccine. If you do not have access to a computer, please call 406-455-2500 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, January 21. You will be required to provide a valid email address to book your appointment, regardless of whether you schedule online or via phone.