KALISPELL — Flathead County Health officials will begin administering vaccines to all adults age 16 and older starting on April 1.
Flathead Health Officer Joe Russell talked with MTN News about the county’s plan to vaccinate thousands of residents moving forward. “Instead of prioritizing by age we’re going to prioritize by occupation.”
Russell says health officials will prioritize vaccines by occupation when they begin administering vaccines to adults age 16 and older starting on April 1. “Our first tiers there will be restaurant and tavern workers as well as educators."
Russell explained the county will continue to administer doses to individuals in tier 1B and 1B+ as they start their new phase of vaccinations, "we’re going to increase our administration rate per day.”
Russell says the county plans on vaccinating more than 1,000 people per day at clinics that will take place at the Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. “Come April 1st we’re going to add 150 doses to our 870 doses, plus or minus,” Russell said.
Russell noted that the easiest way to sign up for the vaccine is to fill out a vaccine request form on the health department’s website. He also says residents should be patient, as it may be days or even weeks before they receive a call back to schedule an appointment.
“That’s a significant demand, so we’re going to try very hard to at least get them scheduled, it could be several days it could be two weeks just depending on how far the list gets,” Russell said.
According to Russell, Flathead County is receiving a steady shipment of 1,200 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on a weekly basis as well as an additional 1,200 doses every two to three weeks.
The latest numbers from the Montana COVID-19 tracking map show that 29,574 vaccines have been administered and 11,038 Flathead County residents are fully immunized.