COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

The Richland County Health Department is providing COVID-19 vaccines in phases according to plans and guidance provided by Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

The Health Department has reviewed and evaluated guidance and presents the following implementation plan for administering COVID-19 vaccines in Richland County. This plan was reviewed by Richland County Board of Health on January 12, 2021. Scroll to the bottom of the page for Frequently Asked Questions.

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Frequently Asked Question

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Health Department receives limited allocations of vaccine to administer to the community. Vaccines will be available to members of the public according to the phases outlined above. Community members will come to the Health Department office to receive their vaccine.

How will I know when a vaccine dose is available for me?

The Health Department will provide notification of available vaccine appointments on our Facebook page, in the local newspapers, and on local radio stations. Appointments can be made by calling the Health Department at 406-433-2207. Be sure that you have reviewed the phased vaccine implementation plan and that you meet the criteria for the given phase before you call. If you do not meet the criteria for the current phase, you may be asked to wait until a dose is available in your phase. 

Why do I need to make an appointment?

The Moderna vaccine comes in 10 dose vials that must be used within 6 hours of opening. The Department is scheduling appointments to ensure that all 10 doses will be given. Individuals will be instructed to arrive on time and if cancellation is unavoidable, to do so with as much advance notice as possible. If individuals are more than 10 minutes late, they will be required to reschedule. 

How many doses do I need to get?

The Moderna COVID-19 provided to the Health Department is a two-dose series that should be administered at least 28 days apart. You will be provided with a card that shows the date you received the first dose so that you may track when you are due for the second dose. This is also for your personal record. You  must receive two doses of the same brand of vaccine.

Is there a charge for the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Health Department will bill private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid $35 for the administration of the vaccine. You will not be personally responsible for any charges associated with the COVID-19 vaccine administration. You will not be responsible for payment of any balance not covered by insurance. The administration fee is a standard fee charged to recoup costs of administering the vaccine. This includes staff time and supplies. 

Should I get vaccinated if I've already had COVID-19?

Current evidence shows that immunity to COVID-19 decreases after 90 days following infection. This means that even individuals who have had COVID-19 should get the vaccine. However, if you are currently infected with COVID-19, you must isolate until you have been released from isolation by the Health Department and are no longer considered infectious.

Do we still need to wear masks, social distance, and quarantine if we've received the COVID-19 vaccine?

Each of these precautions are tools to help fight the COVID-19 virus in our community. No vaccine is 100% effective. We expect that the vaccine will aid in preventing infection, and reduce the severity of symptoms in those that do become infected. This should lead to fewer hospitalizations and deaths. Mask recommendations, social distancing, and quarantine will remain in place until we have enough evidence to show that it is safe to remove these precautions. 

I've heard that some people have bad reactions to the vaccine. What are you doing to ensure those who receive the vaccine are safe?

Those who receive the vaccine will complete forms that provide our nurses with important information relating to their vaccine and allergy histories. These will be reviewed by the nurse and discussed with the client. Each client will be asked to remain at the Health Department for at least 15 minutes past their vaccination so that they may be monitored for any allergic reaction. The Health Department is prepared with tools such as Epinephrine and oxygen should any client show signs of an allergic reaction. Following your vaccination, you will be provided information for v-safe, a smartphone-based tool that will direct you to surveys where you can report any problems or adverse reactions. As always, we would encourage you to contact the Health Department at 406-433-2207 to report any adverse reaction to the vaccine.  

I'm looking for vaccine information from a non-governmental source. Where should I look?

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has an extensive list of FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccine.