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Health Care Workers At Large Hospitals To Receive Montana's First COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

Two gloved hands fill a syringe with blue liquid from a vial.
Marco Verch
Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

State officials on Dec. 7 announced which hospitals will get Montana’s first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.

Health care workers at most of Montana’s largest hospitals will receive the state’s initial estimated 9,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine as soon as Dec. 15, according to a news release from Gov. Steve Bullock’s office. Doses will be split evenly between two hospitals each in Billings, Great Falls and Missoula, and one hospital each in Bozeman, Butte, Helena and Kalispell.

Doses will be split evenly between Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, St. James Hospital in Butte, Great Falls Clinic and Benefis Health System in Great Falls, St. Peter’s Health in Helena, Kalispell Regional Medical Center, and Providence St. Patrick Hospital and Community Medical Center, both in Missoula.

State Department of Public Health and Human Services spokesperson Jon Ebelt says the state prioritized hospitals with cold storage access for initial 975 dose boxes of the Pfizer vaccine, as required by the federal government.

Bullock said last week Montana has roughly 45 to 65 thousand health care workers, which dwarfs the first vaccine shipment. Ebelt says hospitals will consider workers’ COVID-19 exposure risk when distributing initial doses.

Each Pfizer vaccine recipient must take a second dose 21 days after the first.

Ebelt says an expected second shipment later this month is earmarked for rural hospitals and skilled nursing centers, as it will contain the Moderna vaccine, which comes in smaller quantities and does not require cold storage.