Residents receive first COVID-19 vaccines
February 11, 2021
SEELEY LAKE - Partnership Health Center (PHC) collaborated with the Missoula County COVID-19 Vaccine Coordination Team to organize a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Seeley-Swan High School Monday, Feb. 8. Around 200 PHC patients in the Seeley-Swan area were able to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The second doses will be administered at the same location Sunday, Feb. 28.
According to Eric Halverson, PHC public information officer, this clinic was exclusively for PHC patients who have received medical, dental or behavioral health care at any PHC facility on or after Jan. 1, 2019. This clinic was the first drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Missoula County and the first one specifically for PHC patients.
Because of limited vaccine availability across the U.S., appointments were scheduled on a tiered approach as recommended by the Missoula City-County Board of Health. Current vaccine priority is for those who qualify in Phase 1b of the Montana vaccine distribution plan. Individuals eligible include those aged 70 and older, Native Americans and other people of color with an elevated risk, and those between 16 and 69 years with a high-risk medical condition. PHC's Seeley Lake location serves more than 700 patients in the area who qualify for Phase 1b.
Nick Holloway, public information officer for the Missoula County COVID-19 Vaccine Coordination Team, said some people stopped by without an appointment and were unable to receive the vaccine.
"We only have enough vaccines for people with scheduled appointments so we ... turned them around and let them know where they can schedule appointments going forward," he said. "There's going to be more of these. I'm sure PHC will probably plan more [clinics] in the future. Missoula County will plan more in the future for folks that aren't necessarily PHC folks as we try and get everybody vaccinated. ... In the meantime, looking at that covid19.missoula.co website will let people know exactly what their options are. We keep that updated every single day."
For those without Internet access, Holloway recommends calling (406) 258-INFO (4636) for more vaccine information.
"It's a privilege for us to be able to offer vaccines to patients in this area ... and to partner with the County Vaccine Team," Halverson said. "We've had no traffic jams. Everything looks great. The Missoula County vaccine team, Nick and his crew, have done an excellent job clearly."
Halverson encourages PHC patients to visit https://www.partnershiphealthcenter.com/ where visitors can find a frequently asked questions link on the front page as well as sign up information for future clinics. Patients should not directly contact PHC for vaccine appointments.