A Ravalli County community vaccination event will have 975 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses Saturday. The inoculations are by appointment only and will be given to people who are already on lists from a number of vaccine providers in the valley, though the clinic will be conducted by Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton. The Pfizer doses are from an unused supply that Governor Greg Gianforte released statewide and are being stored an an ultra-cold freezer from Hamilton's Rocky Mountain Laboratories.

It will not be a walk-in clinic. Doses will be provided to people who have preciously signed up at various health provider lists and are in the Phase 1 A or 1 B categories. Christina Voyles of the Hamilton hospital said pharmacies and Ravalli County Public Health have partnered to provide names from their sign-up lists, which are combined with Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital's database.

Do not call your health provider. People will be contacted directly to set up a vaccination time between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, February 13, and a follow-up second shot March 6th. The community vaccinations will be at the Bitterroot Physician's Clinic, 1200 Westwood Drive in Hamilton. Again, do not call your provider - they will call you directly, if you are on a current vaccination interest list. And no online sign-ups will be available for this clinic.

Partners in this one-day clinic at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital are Bitterroot Drug, Corvallis Drug, Sapphire Community Health, Ridgeway Pharmacy, Healthcare Plus Pharmacy, Ravalli Family Medicine, Valley Drug, Family Pharmacy, Osco Pharmacy, Timber Ridge Pharmacy, Walgreens and Ravalli County Public Health. Pete Dunn, MDMH Rehabilitation and COVID-19 Vaccination Liaison said, "Folks from these groups will come to our campus this Saturday to help vaccinate, coordinate and assist with all logistics."

Phase 1-B category includes those age 70 and older, American Indian and other people of color, and persons aged 16-69 with high-risk medical conditions such as cancer, heart conditions, diabetes and other conditions to put them at an elevated risk for COVID-19 complications.

Supply of vaccine is still a problem, and not everyone on those lists will be able to get inoculated Saturday. There are thousands of names. However, Voyles said that because of the shortages, this is the only community vaccine clinic that has been scheduled for Ravalli County so far. Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital has been inoculating people on an appointment basis with a supply of Moderna vaccines it has been receiving over the past few weeks. Voyles encouraged people to sign up with their health providers if they want to receive vaccines as they become available. The COVID-19 vaccine is funded by the federal government and is free of charge.

Again, wear masks, wash your hands frequently, keep your social circles small and disinfect well-used surfaces.

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