Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Vaccine eligibility expands statewide

Lake County Leader | March 31, 2021 3:30 PM

As the calendar flips from March to April, all Montanans age 16 or older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and several clinics have been scheduled over the coming weeks to help meet an expected surge in demand.

Most major local clinics are now listed online at www.mtreadyclinic.org, where appointments also may be secured.

CSKT Tribal Health held a clinic from Wednesday afternoon at KwaTaqNuk Resort in Polson, where the Pfizer vaccine was available.

There also will be a clinic offering the Pfizer version from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday (April 1) at the Arlee Community Center. Those receiving a second dose must get the same brand as their first dose.

A third vaccine, made by Johnson & Johnson, requires just one dose and has been available in Montana on a limited basis for a few weeks.

Emily Colomeda, health services director at the Lake County Health Department, said Monday that the department has a limited amount of the Johnson & Johnson version. Those interested in that particular vaccine can call 406-883-7288, and they will schedule another Johnson & Johnson clinic.

CSKT Tribal Health will host another Pfizer clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 6 at KwaTaqNuk. There were 112 available appointment slots as of Tuesday morning. Minors attending clinics must be accompanied by an adult, and all attendees are required to wear a mask.

Also Tuesday, the Lake County-CSKT Unified Command Center announced two clinics open to all Lake County and Flathead Reservation residents. Both events run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 10 and April 17 in the Salish Kootenai College Joe McDonald Gymnasium in Pablo. Appointments are required. As of Tuesday morning, the first clinic had 540 available spots and the second had 600. Both will offer only the Pfizer version.

Colomeda said there are also several pharmacies that are providing vaccines — Credena Lakeshore at Super 1, Walgreens, Walmart and Safeway. St. Luke Community Healthcare in Ronan and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson continue to offer vaccines as well.

Another death announced

Lake County reported its 29th pandemic-related death Monday. It was the second such announcement in two weeks, following a two-month span without any confirmed county deaths.

The latest fatality was a woman in his 60s.

Ten county deaths in November were attributed to the virus, followed by seven in December, four in January and none in February.

Monday morning Lake County Public Health reported 25 active cases, with 2,104 confirmed cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago. There were no virus-related hospitalizations in the county Monday.