HELENA — Lewis & Clark Public Health released their data from May 15th’s vaccine clinic, which was the first clinic for those 12 years and older.
Joe Michaud was one of many adults going through the vaccine process at the fairgrounds, but in Saturday’s clinic, Michaud got to have special guests in his car to also receive the vaccine...his own children.
“Both of my kids were quarantined several times and missed very important things through schools and activities and sports,” says Michaud, a father of two. “So I think a big provider with us is not only their health and their safety, but just to be able to be immune from quarantines, to be able to get back to doing the things they love, and the sports they participate in, and the activities and to be able to go to school."
Michaud and many parents expressed similar emotions as they waited after watching their children get the vaccine.
I asked one parent why it was important to vaccinate their children.
“So they can see their grandparents again, and that they can go back [to school],” says Emily Munn, a mother of four. “When they're in school, they can see each other's bottom half of their faces also and be able to play and if they want to go and give their friends hugs, they don't have to worry.”
Lewis & Clark Public Health added an additional 100 vaccine slots to the 400-dose clinic after receiving high demand from parents. Data released on May 20th, 2021, shows 399 individuals received their vaccine during the 4-hour clinic. Over 95% of them were teenagers age 12 through 15. Public Health is now working on different ways to provide the vaccine to this newly, eligible group.
“One of the things that we've heard loud and clear, especially as you can imagine with kiddos, is that we need to be flexible,” says Tom Richardson, the Clinical Pharmacy Manager at St. Peter’s Health. “Kids are still in school, they have sports, people have summer travel plans. So having one event on one day certainly doesn't provide that flexibility. We saw it is important to offer this mass vaccination clinic to help with this initial whole list of people, to get people through as quickly as we can."
Public Health will host another mass vaccine clinic for these teens to get their second dose, but understand that not all can arrive during this designated time. They handed out cards with information on other locations in the county to make appointments and receive the second dose.