MISSOULA — When COVID-19 vaccinations first began last December, the supplies were short and the demand high but now, the tide has turned with the number of those vaccinated climbing while active cases drop.
If you feel like the number of mass vaccinations for the COVID-19 virus has increased in Missoula County in recent weeks, you would be right.
Missoula City-County Health Promotion Director Cindy Farr says we’re in great shape with the amount of vaccine available, and, in some cases, you can now even make a same-day appointment.
“We actually have enough vaccine on-hand and continually flowing into our county that anyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine which includes anyone that is 16 and over should be able to get an appointment," Farr said.
Over a quarter of eligible county residents are fully immunized as of Wednesday, which comes to roughly 27,000 people. Farr says they are working on expanding opportunities for those who haven’t been able to make one of the mass clinics.
"We’re also trying to kind of change up some of the vaccine scheduling so that we’re offering some evening and weekend appointments, as well.”
If you want to avoid the mass clinics, Farr says other options are becoming increasingly available, "we’re actually in good enough shape that some of our vaccination partners are choosing to go back to just vaccinating their own patients," Farr said.
Missoula County’s seven-day average of positive COVID cases is 12 per 100,000 people, which is a big improvement over where it was just a few weeks ago, but Farr says it’s going to take a lot more vaccinations to reach the level they hope to achieve.
“They believe that it’s somewhere between 70 to 80% of the population would need to get vaccinated in order to suppress the virus," Farr explained.
She says the number of doses are available to get there; it’s just a matter of enough people making the decision to get vaccinated that will make the difference.
You can find additional information about the vaccine and appointment times by visiting the health department's website or by calling call (406) 258-4636 daily between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Montana COVID-19 tracking map shows that 73,201 vaccine doses have been administered and that 26,898 Missoula County residents are fully immunized