FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 10, 2020
Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936, (406) 461-3757, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391, (406) 461-8367, email@example.com
DPHHS to Receive More Vaccine Doses for Week of February 15
On February 9, 2021, the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) was notified the state will receive 16,425 first doses and 13,525 second doses for those completing the vaccine series.
This allocation will be distributed to local jurisdictions the week of February 15. DPHHS continues to be notified week-to-week regarding vaccine allocation. However, the agency has been assured the amounts will not be less than current levels.
While the federal government’s vaccine shipments to the state remain low, DPHHS continues its work to equitably allocate doses across Montana. Factors that affect vaccine allocation to counties include the local jurisdiction’s estimated population of those eligible to receive the vaccine in each phase, previous allocations to each specific provider, and the amount of vaccine that provider has left to administer.
DPHHS then uses this information to determine specific allocations to local jurisdictions before they are notified every Friday. The local jurisdictions then begin to make their vaccine allocation plans for the following week.
Updated county vaccine administration numbers are posted every Monday on the state’s vaccine dashboard.
Federal Pharmacy Program Moving Forward in Montana
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination is starting to move forward in Montana. This program represents the federal strategy to expand access to vaccines. The initial phased implementation of the program will include select retail pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccines.
DPHHS officials say initially about 30 pharmacies will start to receive a limited amount of vaccine doses this week, and will make plans to begin administering doses next week. Once the list is finalized, DPHHS will post online the pharmacies that will receive these initial shipments. State health officials say that pharmacies will be responsible for allocating the vaccine in their local communities following the Phase 1B recommendations.
149,263 Total Doses Now Administered
Montana is in Phase 1B. In Phase 1B, COVID-19 vaccines are available to Montanans 70 years of age and older, 16 to 69 years of age with a high-risk medical condition, and Native Americans and other persons of color who may be at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications.
As of February 10, 2021, a total of 149,263 Montanans has received the COVID-19 vaccine first dose and 41,539 people are fully immunized. These numbers are updated daily on the new vaccine dashboard. The new dashboard includes information on total vaccine doses administered, Montanans fully immunized, and doses administered per 1,000 eligible people across Montana counties.
DPHHS has New Vaccine Map and Website
DPHHS has launched a new COVID-19 vaccine website landing page, including a map with local information and resources. Local jurisdictions continue to hold vaccine clinics for those eligible in Phase 1B and are providing regular updates online about vaccine availability at the local level. This information changes constantly so Montanans are encouraged to check the map frequently.
The DPHHS map links to online and social media sites where jurisdictions share information regularly on vaccine availability and scheduling. The map also includes the best local phone number to call, but Montanans are urged to utilize the online information first.
Health officials also state that during the vaccination process, it’s important to remain vigilant to limit the spread of COVID-19. Montanans need to continue to practice basic public health prevention methods to keep case numbers low while the vaccine rollout continues: wear a mask to protect yourself and others, practice social distancing by staying six feet apart, stay home if you are sick, cover your cough, wash your hands often, and avoid large crowds.