Ravalli Health director says list "fairest way" to handle vaccinations

Posted at 9:45 AM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 11:46:38-05

HAMILTON — Ravalli County Health Department director Tiffany Webber says using an online registry is the "fairest" way to balance the expected rush for coronavirus vaccine against the available supply of the medicine.

Ravalli County announced Thursday that it would have an online registry "live" next week, where people who hope to get their shots from public health will be able to post their names and information. It's not a "waiting list" for appointments, but a database where the Health Department can reference, calling people back to make appointments as vaccine becomes available.

Webber says the list was the only real way to balance the demand for vaccine against the still limited supply.

"I mean there's so many people that want it, or that need it, or have conditions that might seem like they need it more than the other. This was the only way that we could capture the information and reach out," Webber explained.

"Because with our age population that can't get online, they don't have the capability, if we try to open up online appointments what's happening is that those will be snapped up on people who have the ability. And so, for us, this was just the fairest way to get the data, and then we will book the appointments," Webber added.

Ravalli County started vaccinating its first "1B" patients this week, which are residents over 70, between 16 and 69 with underlying health issues, and people of color. We'll continue to pass along information as that registry goes online in the Bitterroot.