COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Information for Montana
As of April 12, 2021 nearly 590,000 total doses have been administered and over 245,000 Montanans are fully immunized. Track Montana’s progress on the state’s vaccine dashboard.
On April 1, all Montanans age 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine.
COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
All states were required to create a COVID-19 vaccination plan.
The plan outlines three vaccination distribution phases, key critical populations to be offered the vaccine first, and how the agency is working with key partners across the state to implement Montana’s plan. This plan is subject to change based on the ACIP and CDC’s guidance about priority populations.
DPHHS announced a COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Coordination Team on November 23. The team is comprised of stakeholders from various sectors across the state, many of who are already established COVID-19 crisis response partners. The team’s first meeting was held on November 24, 2020.
DPHHS hosted a virtual Tribal Consultation on October 8, and included tribal governments, urban Indian health centers, and Indian Health Service.
Vaccine Distribution Partners and Allocation Numbers
Vaccines will be allocated to Montana several ways: through a state allocation managed by DPHHS, through an allocation specifically to long term care facilities, and to federal entities such as Indian Health Services and the Veteran’s Health Administration. Montana tribes were given the opportunity to elect whether to receive their vaccine allocation from state or federal sources.
Here’s a breakdown of how vaccine will be allocated in Montana.
State allocation managed by DPHHS
DPHHS will work with federal partners to distribute state vaccine allocations directly to enrolled providers across the state.
Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF)
The federal government is contracting with CVS, Walgreens and Big Sky Managed Care Pharmacy to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services for nursing homes and assisted living facilities residents.
Tribal jurisdiction allocation
All Tribal entities were given the opportunity to either receive their allocation through federal or state channels. This includes tribal governments, Urban Indian Health Centers and Indian Health Service sites.
In Montana, 5 of 8 tribal governments, all five Urban Indian Health Centers and all the IHS sites chose to get their allocation from the IHS. IHS has been recognized as their own jurisdiction. Here is the IHS vaccination plan [ihs.gov]
The IHS allocation will be outside of the state allocation that DPHHS will receive.
Confederated Salish and Kootenai, Blackfeet and Little Shell Tribes are expected to receive their allocation through the state allocation.
Vaccine Distribution to Critical Population by Phases
The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is a top priority. The clinical trials for COVID-19 have been conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If FDA determines the vaccine meets its safety standards, it can make it available for use in the U.S. by approval or Emergency Use Authorization (EAU). The FDA has made both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available through EAU.
The current vaccine safety system has the capacity to effectively monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines both under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and post-licensure.
CDC, along with FDA and other federal partners, will use established safety systems to conduct heightened safety monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines.
DPHHS has a system in place to receive reports of any vaccine safety issues for all vaccines. The same system will be used to monitor for any COVID-19 vaccine safety. The DPHHS Immunization Program will be closely monitoring and responding to any safety issues identified.