MISSOULA — Missoula County teachers and school staff have the chance to be vaccinated now, following a presidential directive to get American teachers vaccinated by the end of this month.
Granite Pharmacy started planning this week to distribute their federal vaccine allotment to the schools.
"We'll go out to the schools and do this as a side, working with the administration, the nurses, volunteers, the county, it's been a great collaboration working together to get these teachers vaccinated as quickly as we can," explained Granite Pharmacy owner Eric Beyer.
Beyer says they have about 2,000 doses from the federal government, separate from Missoula County Tier 1B doses, to distribute to teachers and staff. They're scheduling clinics with Missoula County Public Schools, and schools across the county -- from Lolo to Seeley Lake.
Beyer says don't worry if your school hasn't heard from them yet, they want to get to everybody.
"We'll go out to the schools and do this as a side, working with the administration, the nurses, volunteers, the county," said. "It's been a great collaboration working together to get these teachers vaccinated as quickly as we can."
MCPS says they have about 1,000 staff that haven't been vaccinated yet. Superintendent Rob Watson says this will provide an extra layer of protection, and help keep the schools open.
"Which is a critical piece for our entire community. When we have to close a school, it has lots of ripple effects on the parents and the economy, so for those reasons, it's important to try to keep our schools open, and the only way we can really do that is to have staff in the buildings."
MCPS has clinics set up next week at one of their schools for permanent and active staff members that want to receive the vaccine.
Granite Pharmacy and MCPS want to make it clear that these doses are in addition to regular Missoula County Tier 1B vaccines, and shouldn't take away doses from anyone in that category.