GREAT FALLS — The Cascade City-County Health Department in Great Falls announced on Wednesday that people ages 60-69 with qualifying health conditions (see below) and all people 70+ are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
The CCHD said in a news release that the Cascade County vaccine waiting list will not be maintained going forward. The waiting list has become an unsustainable drain on limited staffing resources, due to the following:
- Duplicate entries, including from people who had already scheduled appointments online
- People putting themselves on the waitlist then receiving the vaccine elsewhere—including at the VA, Indian Family Health Clinic, Malmstrom, or select local pharmacies
- Anyone eligible for vaccination at the VA, Malmstrom, or Indian Family Health Clinic should seek vaccination there first
- Pharmacies are still receiving very limited doses of vaccine
Furthermore, the waiting list is becoming less necessary. The CCHD is expecting continual shipments of vaccine and in larger amounts, and the vaccine will become more widely available throughout Cascade County as time goes on.
If you are unable to book your appointment online, please ask only one trusted friend or family member to help you. The CCHD said: "Take care that only one appointment is booked under your name!"
On Thursday, February 18, at 9 a.m., the online portal at benefis.org/COVIDvaccine will reopen. This time, there will be 3,300 slots available. People ages 60-69 with qualifying health conditions (see below) and all people ages 70+ are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
Qualifying health conditions in Tier 1B of Governor Gianforte’s vaccination plan include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Down syndrome
- Heart conditions (heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, etc.)
- Immuno-compromised state from solid organ transplant
- Severe obesity (BMI > or = 40 kg/m2)
- Sickle cell disease
- Diabetes types I & II
On a case by case basis, medical providers may include individuals with other conditions that place them at elevated risk for COVID-19 related complications
That means the CCHD will have two weeks’ worth of vaccination appointments opening up at once. Included in these appointments are slots for two Saturday clinics: February 27 and March 6. This should assist people who work during the week or who need help or transportation from relatives who work Monday through Friday.