County Vaccination, Moderna Vaccine

William Gavin, a registered nurse with the health department, prepare doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 6 at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. (Rachel Leathe/Chronicle)

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Gallatin County announced Wednesday that a third public vaccination clinic will be held March 4 at the fairgrounds in Bozeman.

The 480 appointment slots for the clinic will open on mtreadyclinic.org at noon on Friday and will likely fill quickly.

The clinic is for people eligible in Phase 1B — adults over 70, those between 16 and 69 with specific underlying conditions and people of color.

The health department is also working with Bozeman Creek Family Health, Bozeman Clinic, the Human Resource Development Council and Bozeman Senior Center to sign up 400 people who may not have access to technology or may need help registering to ensure they can participate in the clinic, according to a notice published Wednesday by Gallatin County Emergency Management.

Next week, there will also be a clinic in West Yellowstone.

On Monday, Community Health Partners, the Hebgen Basin Fire District and the town of West Yellowstone will provide 150 residents their first dose of a vaccine and 22 residents their second dose, according to county spokesperson Whitney Bermes.

Bozeman Health and Montana State University, which also provide vaccines in Gallatin County, will spend next week offering second doses in Bozeman to those it has previously given first doses, according to a new calendar of local clinics posted on the health department website.

Starting next week, Madison County residents who live in Big Sky will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine locally. The Madison Valley Medical Center in Ennis will host clinics at the Summit Hotel at Big Sky Resort on Tuesday, March 16, March 30, April 3 and April 27.

Those interested in participating in the clinics should call the medical center at (406) 682-4223 to be added to the waitlist. The center will then contact those on the waitlist to schedule appointments for the five upcoming vaccination clinics. Thirty people will be vaccinated at each clinic.

People who have already been placed on the center’s waitlist should call again to request to receive their vaccination in Big Sky rather than in Ennis.

To date, the Madison Valley Medical Center and Ruby Valley Medical Center have been overseeing vaccine distribution in Madison County and have been contacting people on their waitlists to schedule appointments at their locations in Ennis and Sheridan.

Madison Valley Medical Center’s upcoming clinic in Big Sky is part of a broader collaboration between the Big Sky Resort Area District, Bozeman Health, the Madison Valley Medical Center, Gallatin City-County Health Department and Madison County Health Department to ensure vaccines reach the unincorporated area that straddles two counties.

Bozeman Health has also been providing vaccinations in Big Sky at Big Sky Medical Center for eligible patients who reside in the area regardless of whether they live in Gallatin or Madison counties. Bozeman Health has been contacting patients directly to schedule appointments at Big Sky Medical Center. The next Big Sky clinic is set for March 7.

More information on vaccinations in Big Sky is available through Big Sky Relief, a nonprofit that formed in response to the pandemic.

This week, the Gallatin City-County Health Department began providing weekly updates on local vaccine distribution. As of Monday, 5,142 residents — or 5% of those eligible — had been fully vaccinated and 7,598 had received only the first of the two required doses.

Statewide, 73,259 Montanans were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday and 78,812 had received only their first dose.

On Wednesday, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte celebrated Montana’s success in vaccinating residents. He cited an article from NPR that showed the state has tied New Mexico for being the state that has administered the highest percent — 93% — of the doses it has been given.

“Thanks to the dedication and tireless work of our health care heroes, Montana leads the nation in efficiently administering the doses we receive from the federal government,” he said in a news release.

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Perrin Stein can be reached at pstein@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2648.