Shelby hospital applies for COVID vaccine distribution

Posted at 11:25 AM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 13:25:21-05

As several large medical facilities across Montana prepare to receive doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week, some smaller facilities are doing everything they can to make sure they eventually get the vaccine, too.

The CEO of Marias Medical Center in Shelby, Ward VanWichen, says the hospital has applied to be part of the vaccine program but as of Wednesday there was no telling when the hospital would get the vaccine.

The hospital has six beds available for COVID patients. As of Wednesday they weren’t all full, but VanWichen worried that could change after the holidays.

He said he’s staying positive, though, waiting for the vaccine: "Knowing that there's light at the end of the tunnel and on the horizon is definitely positive and optimistic. I know there's going to be a process to how that has to go, so I don't get frustrated with it. We've just go to keep ourselves educated and informed and tackle it when it comes our way."

Toole County was among the first communities in Montana to be hit hard by the COVID pandemic, recording six deaths by the third week of April; since then, there have only been two reported deaths in the county.

The state is expected to receive around 10,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine as early as December 15. Click here for details about the distribution plan.

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