If you're a numbers person - this article in the Missoulian is right up your alley. It's chock-full of statistics about Montana and the COVID-19 vaccination. The numbers I was paying the most attention to were the more than 38,000 people in Montana that have received just the first dose of the vaccine, and the more than 9,400 people that have already received both doses during Phase 1A of distribution.

The first phase has put the focus on healthcare workers but Missoula county is getting ready to move into Phase 1B next week. The next group of people to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine will be those that are over the age of 70 (priority,) anyone 16 and older with a high-risk conditions, people of color, and Native Americans. Eventually, Phase 1c will include essential workers and those ages 16-69 with health conditions. Vaccinations for the general population will follow.

Let's think here......if we only had a large, vacant building in Missoula that could serve as a vaccination site. One that was spacious enough to allow for social distancing - even as numerous people were on-site to receive the vaccine. Ah yes, the old Lucky's building will do! The Missoula-County Health Department says the property at Southgate Mall will begin serving as a site for vaccine distribution beginning next week.

In recent weeks the health department has asked that the public refrain from calling to inquire about vaccine eligibility. In an article from our website, Missoula City County Health Officer Ellen Leahy was quoted as saying, “We have to ask right now, and until further notice, that if unless you're a health care worker in Missoula County, please don't call. We do not have vaccine for anyone except for health care workers right now. It won't be released into our county for anyone except the healthcare workers and we are still working on getting the health care workers their first shot."

Instead of calling - you can find vaccine information online - and soon be able to sign-up at covid19.missoula.co. And keep in mind that even though the details above are about the Missoula City-County Health Department - they're not the only vaccine provider in Missoula county. The vaccine is available from over 20 different providers.

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