MISSOULA — Missoula County remains in Phase 1A of Montana’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.
Local health officials are expected to provide an update Thursday on moving along to the next step, but first here's what we know. Missoula County is still working to get through all its healthcare workers -- especially those with direct contact with COVID-19 patients.
When we do get to the next phase, people can be vaccinated through the health department or other distribution points. Officials tell us they are working with other distributors, including the University of Montana, to set up a mass clinic.
The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) says the next phase will have thousands of people to get through as the 70 and older crowd alone is estimated at about 12,00 people.
MCCHD says it is working to keep distribution organized, ethical, and equitable while we still have such a limited vaccine supply.
"We are a regional medical hub, with thousands of frontline healthcare workers, so it's taking us a little longer to get through phase 1A in Missoula County than it might take counties with [a] smaller population of healthcare workers,” Missoula County COVID-19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr said.
“We are working with our community partners to refer outpatients who signed up to get vaccinated through us to help us get through our que as quickly as possible,” she added.
Farr says healthcare workers who have not yet been vaccinated can sign up online. Officials add they are seeing very high interest and demand, and have no concerns about vaccine hesitancy in Missoula County.