GREAT FALLS — The City-County Health Department in Great Falls on Thursday announced that there will be another round of COVID vaccine sign-ups next week.
Registration will open at 9 a.m. on Thursday, January 28, and the appointments will be for Monday, February 1, Wednesday, February 3, and Friday, February 5. At this point, health officials do not know exactly how many vaccinations will be available.
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: Registration will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, January 28. These will be for appointments on Monday, February 1; Wednesday, February 3; and Friday, February 5. Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
How: Appointments must be scheduled 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. on Thursday, January 28. You will be required to provide a valid email address to book your appointment, regardless of whether you schedule online or via phone.
WHERE: Vaccinations will take place at Montana ExpoPark's Family Living Center (400 3rd Street NW). You must preschedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. If you do not have an appointment, you will be turned away.
You must present a valid form of identification at the scheduled time of your vaccine. If your identification indicates that you are not age 70 or older, you will be turned away even if you have an appointment.
At this time, the government is covering the cost of the vaccine so there is no cost to the patient/recipient. Signing up to receive the vaccine is voluntary - there is no government mandate or law that requires members of the public to receive the vaccine.
Registration for appointments next week opened at 9 a.m. this morning, and all slots were taken within minutes, leaving many people frustrated.
The CCHD said: "We know many people were disappointed they weren't able to secure a COVID-19 vaccination appointment this morning. Please know we are working to provide vaccines as they allocated from the state. We ask you to be patient as supply is limited and enthusiasm is high. We're inspired by the number of people wanting the vaccine, which is a crucial step in overcoming the pandemic. At this time, we do not know how many appointment slots are opening, and there is not a waiting list. Thank you for your understanding. We will update you as soon as we learn more!"
The KRTV Facebook post quickly filled up with comments from people who were not able to register before all of the slots were filled: