Eric Beyer, owner and pharmacist at Granite Pharmacy in Missoula, described to KGVO this week just how he and his local pharmacy became the go-to source for Missoula County Public Schools personnel to receive their COVID 19 vaccinations.

Beyer said it all started with President Joe Biden.

“We were lucky enough thanks to Community Medical Center to be able to store some Pfizer vaccine and get 1,170 doses and we were just in the early phases of planning a clinic for the public,” said Beyer. “And I was driving back from Phillipsburg and my store there and heard President Biden made the announcement, and at that moment, I said, ‘All right’, I told my staff, ‘we're going to make a change and we're going to contact the schools and we're going to pivot quickly and see if we can vaccinate our teachers’ and that's where it started.”

Beyer described his first contact with MCPS to get the process started.

“Well, the first thing I did is got up in the morning and called just the administrative offices and said, ‘Hey, who do I need to talk to?’,” he said. “They actually put me in touch with the head of nursing and she said they had been trying to figure out how they were going to do this. Once we started talking, it just seemed like the perfect partnership where we had the vaccine and the software to do all the data entry and everything on the back end that needed to happen. They had all of the facilities and all the staff and, and all the teachers that we needed. And so it didn't take us but 10 or 15 minutes of talking to say, ‘Yes, I think this is going to work and how do we do it and how quickly can we do it?’ ”

Beyer said the MCPS vaccination clinics will get underway on Wednesday.

“For Missoula County Public School District, we will be at Sentinel High School,” he said. “We have clinics set up Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And we're going to try to get as many of the teachers in those three days as we can.”

Beyer explained why Granite Pharmacy is not allowing walk-in traffic for the COVID 19 vaccine.

“Most people now I think understand that that's not it's not like a flu shot where you can just walk in and get one,” “They have to schedule them because they're in multiples of five or 10  and there's the waiting period and social distancing has added to that as well. Most people have been very good and are super appreciative when once we do give the vaccine.”

Granite Pharmacy has locations in Missoula, Frenchtown, Phillipsburg and Libby.

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