MISSOULA — On the same day that the U.S. reached the grim milestone of 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, hundreds received their vaccines at Missoula County's latest clinic.
The old Lucky's grocery store at Southgate Mall has plenty of space to social distance while still allowing for personal attention from the dozens of health care workers who are there to not just vaccinate, but answer questions and make sure patients are comfortable with the process.
Some were on-hand for their first shots others received their second shot that will make them fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
We spoke with Missoula County Operations section chief Sara Heineman who says where testing clinics might be more stressful, vaccination clinics bring “hope.”
"I think this has been much more festive. People are excited, they're happy to get in here and get their shot. It's very positive,” Heineman said. “I think this has been a super streamlined process other than the scheduling piece but once they're here, I think the mood has been really positive and happy -- relief to get that shot."
Missoula County remains in Phase 1B Tier 1 of the vaccination process, covering Missoula County residents ages 70 and older and residents 16 and older who are American Indian or other people of color. The next clinic hasn't been scheduled yet as the health department waits to hear how much vaccine is on the way.
Click here for additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Missoula County.