Missoula County officials discuss COVID-19 vaccination process

Lucky's Market COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic
Posted at 3:13 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 17:13:46-05

MISSOULA — Missoula County officials say with a potential new one-shot COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon as well as a recent slight uptick in weekly allotted doses, things are looking up.

“Obviously our primary goal is to never have vaccine sitting somewhere in a freezer somewhere with no plan of how to get it out,” said Missoula Office of Emergency Management Director Adriane Beck.

Beck also addressed community concerns around the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday.

“It is kind of like getting a concert ticket unfortunately, when we put those appointments up online they go very quickly,” Beck observed.

Missoula community members have complained about the inability to get an appointment.

Beck says officials work a week out to order doses and determine which providers will get those doses. But they don't promise them to anyone right away.

“We have been very deliberate in not making appointments available until vaccine arrives,” Beck explained.

The shipments typically arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday.

"Which then kind of informs the next week ahead. What we have worked really hard with our PIOs and our Joint Information Center is to make sure that when vaccine appointments are going to become available for those open clinics, that we give the public adequate notice,” Beck said.

The supply is still limited, but Beck is hopeful more and more people can start to receive their shots as time goes on.

"That's the silver lining, we know that it's going to get better. It's getting better every day,” Beck concluded.

Beck says she expects emergency authorization to be granted for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and that it could arrive to Montana about two weeks after that.