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Preparations For COVID-19 Vaccines April 1 Have Begun

Montana counties are preparing for Apr. 1 when anyone 16 and up becomes eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Gallatin City County Health Department says residents will be able to sign up for a spot on the COVID-19 waiting list starting Wednesday at noon. A link to the online sign up will be available on the Healthy Gallatin website. Residents without internet access can call 406-548-0123 to fill out a form over the phone.

When vaccine appointments are available, the health department will send an email with a unique link to make an appointment. Recipients will have approximately 48 hours to use the link after it is sent to secure an appointment with an upcoming clinic. Those without internet access will receive an automated call.

The health department says the new process allows the county to continue prioritizing people who qualify for Phases 1A, 1B and 1B+ and are still waiting for a vaccine.

Park County similarly is holding a special vaccination event for front-line workers before making all county residents age 18 and older eligible for the vaccine on Apr. 2.

The clinic at the Park County Fairgrounds scheduled for Apr. 1 will offer extended hours early morning and into the evening to accommodate work schedules. Anyone 18 or older whose work requires them to deal face-to-face with the public is eligible. Appointments are required and be made at this link beginning Mar. 29.

Meanwhile, Yellowstone County says more than 1,300 appointments this week for COVID-19 vaccines were still available as of Monday afternoon.

Last week, Riverstone Health said out-of-county 16- and 17- year-olds can call 406-651-6596 to schedule an appointment for the Pfizer vaccine in Yellowstone County.

Most small population counties receive the Moderna vaccine, which, like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, is only approved for people 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 16 and up.