MISSOULA — The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination is working its way through our frontline healthcare workers and long-term care facilities.
Health officials have now turned their attention to the next phase of distribution -- Phase 1B -- which will include a much larger group of people.
Adriane Beck -- the newly appointed vaccine deployment officer for Missoula County -- says Phase 1A could be completed in as soon as one week.
Phase 1B includes American Indians and other people of color, those age 70 and older, and people ages 16-to-69 who have a qualifying health condition. Because the vaccine distribution is rapidly unfolding, officials have a decentralized approach.
We can expect multiple access points across the county, with distribution from various entities -- the University of Montana, Missoula's two hospitals, the Missoula City-County Health Department, the All Nations Health Center and pharmacies.
Beck says her team is working nonstop to develop strategies for connecting citizens with vaccine providers and in the meantime, we as citizens can help their efforts.
“We're asking for citizens to be active participants in this process, to pay attention to the prioritization criteria, to be informed about where you personally fall in that categorization, and to be ready to receive the vaccine when it is time,” Beck said.
“Much like boarding an airplane, the process goes much quicker when those waiting to board are ready to get in line when their section is called, and that those who are not yet in the queue, continue to wait,” Beck continued.
Additional information about Missoula County’s plans for COVID-19 vaccine distribution can be found here.