Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for educator vaccines
Madison County COVID & Vaccination Update
From Feb. 28-March 7, Madison County reported 14 new coronavirus cases. One resident is currently hospitalized. There are 28 active cases in the county and have been seven fatalities through the course of the pandemic.
Teachers and staff in prekindergarten through twelfth grade and childcare programs are now able to receive a vaccine from pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, according to an update from Sen. Jon Tester’s office. Educators may find the pharmacy nearest to them participating in the program at https://vaccinefinder.org.
These vaccines will not come from state allocations, but from the Biden Administration’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. This program seeks to partner with pharmacies across the country to distribute vaccines quickly and effectively.
Educators remain in Phase 1C as Montana moved to Phase 1B+ on March 8. On March 2, President Joe Biden announced a directive asking states to prioritize school staff and childcare workers for vaccine distribution.
As of March 5, the total number of Montanans fully immunized, 105,977, surpassed the total number of infections since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, 100,656.
“This encouraging milestone is a testament to the tireless efforts of our health care workers who are administering these safe, effective vaccines. It’s also a testament to Montanans who have taken steps to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors from the spread of the virus,” Gov. Greg Gianforte said in a press release. “We’ll keep up our efforts as the light at the end of the tunnel shines more brightly with each passing day.”
As of March 9, Madison County reported 676 fully immunized residents, 1,481 first doses administered, and 2,157 total doses administered. The county has 7,454 individuals eligible to be vaccinated.
Ruby Valley Medical Center (RVMC) conducted another vaccine clinic Monday evening, providing coronavirus vaccinations to just over 100 people. Emilie Sayler, public information officer for RVMC, encouraged individuals in Phase 1A and 1B looking to receive a vaccination to contact the facility as soon as possible. She anticipated Phase 1B to be completed after Monday’s clinic and will be able to work into Phase 1B+ in the coming weeks.
Phase 1B+ lowered the age of vaccine eligibility in Montana to 60 years, from 70. This allows for vaccine eligibility for 100,000 plus more individuals.
Joe Brummell, new head of the incident management team following Madison County Public Health Nurse Melissa Brummell’s resignation, reported that the state expects to enter Phase 1C in the spring.
“Things are moving along really nice,” he said.
Two residents at Madison Valley Manor in Ennis, Mont. are fully vaccinated. Due to having contracted COVID-19 and in some cases receiving antibody treatments, some residents will receive their second shot next month. Twenty-two residents at Tobacco Roots Mountain Care Center in Sheridan, Mont. have been fully vaccinated.