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Yellowstone County Providers To Set Up Centralized Vaccination Site

John Felton, health officer, speaks to reporters at a press conference on Feb. 11
Screencap of health officer John Felton during a press conference streamed live on KTVQ on Feb. 12, 2021.

Montana’s largest county is setting up a centralized COVID-19 vaccination site slated to open in Billings next week.

Starting Tuesday, Feb. 16, Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Healthcare and RiverStone Health will staff Cedar Hall on the MetraPark fairgrounds, where they’ll administer first doses to residents in the Phase 1B category three days a week by appointment only.

Health officer John Felton said Thursday during a press conference streamed live on Facebook by KTVQ that with weekly dose allocations starting to increase, hospitals and the health department are ready to consolidate resources and stand up larger vaccination clinics as resources allow.

"We’re all hopeful that, over time, that supply will not only increase, but will stabilize so that we can schedule people out several weeks rather than having to go a week at a time," said Felton.

Those currently eligible include seniors older than 70 years of age, people with high-risk medical conditions, and Native Americans and people of color at higher risk for complications. Felton estimates there are between 45,000 and 55,000 Yellowstone County residents in Phase 1B.

State data show more than 7,500 Yellowstone County residents are fully vaccinated after receiving two doses.

The state health department is not collecting data on how many vaccines have been given in each phase of distribution. The state reports more than 43,000 Montanans are fully inoculated.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.