Ravalli County leaders urge patience for COVID vaccinations

Tiffany Webber
Posted at 2:38 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 19:47:52-05

HAMILTON — Ravalli County Health Department leaders are asking for people to "be patient" after the agency is swamped with thousands of phone calls asking about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Although the Bitterroot has seen its share of political debate over the extent and danger of the pandemic, there's certainly no shortage of interest in getting protected through a shot.

The Ravalli County Health Department fielded more than 2,600 calls on Monday alone from people wanting to know how they can be vaccinated.

Administrators told the Ravalli County Board of Health Wednesday that they've already scheduled out the first round of doses from the state allocated for "front line" workers and first responders.

Director Tiffany Webber has requested more doses, but isn't sure when those will be available, as they follow the amended protocol from Gov. Greg Gianforte.

"We've kind of made a plan with the health officer and our other community partners that will be getting vaccine as well, to try and figure out what is the best way to get the vaccine out to people," Webber said.

"And unfortunately, the best way is that people are just going to have to be patient. They're just going to have to be patient while we try to get this out. Because it's going take time," she continued."

While the state's changes on vaccine eligibility and timing last week have created some confusion, Webber says the county, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital and other providers will be issuing more information on when, and where shots will be available in the coming days.

Webber advises people to watch for that information to be posted on the COVID-19 information page on the county's website.