KALISPELL — The Flathead County Health Department (FCCHD) is teaming up with two local breweries hosting pop-up vaccine clinics this week.
Bias Brewing in Kalispell and Backslope Brewing in Columbia Falls are hoping to boost COVID-19 vaccine numbers in the Flathead, as only 35% of the county's eligible population is fully immunized according to data from the Montana COVID-19 tracking website.
“So, we wanted to provide a comfortable, safe environment for folks to come in kind of after business hours and talk to health care professionals, get information, get vaccinated and get a free beer while they’re at it,” Bias Brewing Co-Owner Gabe Mariman told MTN News.
Mariman said no appointments are needed at the two walk-in clinics, and each person receiving the vaccine gets a free beer. “Incentivizing people to come in and have a beer and get vaccinated and make a positive impact on the health and safety of the community, felt like the right thing to do."
Both the Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson Vaccines will be available at the clinics along with local healthcare workers on-site answering any questions about the vaccine.
“We feel it’s important to get those vaccination percentage numbers up to protect the members of the community, particularly when we look at this beginning of our tourist season where we have people from all over the world coming and enjoying the Montana way of life and we just want to protect the Montana way of life, our local economy and the people that need protection from this virus,” said Mariman.
Depending on demand, Mariman said additional COVID-19 clinics at local breweries may pop up down the road.
Backslope Brewing’s COVID-19 clinic runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday while the clinic at Bias Brewing runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.