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.
Frequently Asked Question
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines are available in Richland County. COVID-19 vaccine are available only during a scheduled walk-in clinic. We are unable to offer COVID-19 vaccine outside of a schedule clinic. Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines will be offered on separate days.
Can children be vaccinated for COVID-19?
The vaccines carried by the Health Department are licensed only for those 18 and older at the time of vaccination. Other locations across the state may be able to provide vaccines for those 16 and older. Please visit www.vaccinefinder.org to find a location that carries the Pfizer vaccine, licensed for those 16 and older. There are currently studies underway to study COVID-19 vaccination in those younger than 16.
How will I know when a vaccine dose is available for me?
The Health Department will provide notification of vaccine clinic availability on our Facebook page, in the local newspapers, and on local radio stations.
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. You can read more about the Emergency Use Authorization for the Moderna vaccine.
The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) is a 1-dose vaccine. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks following the Janssen vaccine. You can read more about the Emergency Use Authorization for the Janssen vaccine.
I received first dose in another state/locality. Can I get my second dose at the Health Department?
You must receive two doses of the same brand of vaccine. The Health Department carries the Moderna brand COVID-19 vaccine. We will accommodate your second dose of Moderna vaccine at one of our scheduled walk-in clinics. Remember that the second dose is due 4-6 weeks after the first-this information should be provided on your vaccine record card.
If you received the first dose of Pfizer vaccine, please use www.vaccinefinder.org to locate a second dose of vaccine.
Is there a charge for the COVID-19 vaccine?
The Health Department will bill private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid $40 for the standard vaccine administration fee. If you do not have insurance, you will still receive the vaccine.
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. The CDC currently states that those who are vaccinated can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
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. You can read about the expected side effects of the vaccine. As always, we would encourage you to contact the Health Department at 406-433-2207 to report any adverse reaction to the vaccine.
Where can I learn about vaccine distribution in Montana? How many vaccines have been given in Richland County.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services maintains a website for COVID-19 vaccine distribution information. This information is updated regularly, and includes the number of vaccines given in Richland County.
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.