This undoubtedly speaks to its robust bioscience infrastructure, research facilities and statewide network of student and alumni pharmacists.

The University of Montana announced today (Friday) that they will provide and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to Montanans. The State of Montana has named UM an approved vaccine holding and distributor center, allowing the university to serve as one of Montana’s most significant vaccine distributors.

University of Montana News Services tells us that Kenneth Chatriand, manager of the UM Pharmacy and coordinator of community advanced student pharmacy practice, said the approval to hold and later distribute the vaccine through UM is a testament to the University’s public health response, thanks to its health and medicine programs and resources for the state.

Earlier this year, UM was named one of the top 10 universities in solving the pandemic, a list that included Oxford and Harvard. The honor was given largely due to its vaccine research and ability to respond to the public health crisis. It means that not only do we have the physical resources needed to house the vaccine, but we have top-rated health science programs, including pharmacy, and a statewide presence of student interns and pharmacists trained as immunizers and prepared for direct patient care.

UM has not yet received the vaccine, and the timeline for distribution and delivery still is being worked out with state and federal health authorities. But with existing subzero freezers required to store the Pfizer vaccine, UM earned approval to house and distribute the lifesaving doses from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Montana State Department of Public Health and Human Services.

UM currently has three of the freezers available, and a fourth one will be delivered next month. The University also can make additional subzero freezers available, as they are currently being used for other University research.


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