Montana VA’s COVID-19 Distribution
Dear Montana Veterans – We hope you are staying safe, well, and warm!
Since we received our first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine at the end of December, we have planned Veteran vaccine clinics each time our vaccine allotment increases. Over 4,200 enrolled Montana Veterans have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine in communities such as Miles City, Billings, Kalispell, Havre, Helena, Bozeman, Missoula, Glendive, and Great Falls. As you may know, MTVAHCS was selected as the lead VA site in the country to use fixed-wing aircraft to bring COVID-19 vaccines to Montana’s rural Veterans. Whether we need to drive or fly the vaccine, please know we will bring vaccines to Montana’s Veterans as soon as possible.
How does MTVAHCS ensure that the Veterans in your community who have the greatest risk with COVID-19 receive the vaccine first? First, vaccines are available by appointment only. Vaccines are not distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. MTVAHCS distributes vaccines with the use of risk assessments that identify which Veterans have the greatest risk if exposed to COVID-19. High risk Veterans are identified as persons 75 years or older and any Veteran who has a medical condition that may put them at increased risk based on the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) risk criteria and VA guidance.
Each time a clinic happens, MTVAHCS calls the highest risk Veterans first to schedule appointments. As more vaccines become available, we will plan more clinics across the state and move down the list until all enrolled Veterans who want the vaccine have received their first and second doses. At the time of your vaccine appointment, MTVAHCS will schedule your second vaccine appointment approximately four weeks later.
We need your help to make sure you receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Due to the compressed time frame to schedule and distribute vaccines, we strongly encourage you to answer and return any calls from MTVAHCS. If you have a voicemail from MTVAHCS about a vaccine clinic, please call us immediately so we know if you want the vaccine. Please know that any Veteran who missed their call will be in the first group to be called the next time.