County expects limited vaccines for the next few weeks

Sam Klomhaus – Enterprise Staff Writer
Monday, January 25, 2021

Park County Health Officer Dr. Laurel Desnick said in a video update Friday the county expects to receive about 200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each of the next three to four weeks.

The state itself will have about 13,400 doses to distribute this week, Desnick said, about double what the state received last week.

That’s nowhere near enough to vaccinate all of phase 1B, which includes people ages 70 and up, those with certain chronic health conditions and people in certain high risk groups such as Native Americans.

Park County has more than 6,000 people in phase 1B, Desnick said, and if supplies continue at this level it will take quite a while to vaccinate everyone.

“It has been a hard 10 months, and it is not clear when we will be out of the woods,” Desnick said.

The state’s COVID-19 online dashboard, which now includes county-by-county vaccination numbers, reports that 1,278 vaccine doses have been administered in Park County, and 222 county residents have been fully immunized.

Statewide, according to the dashboard, 77,739 doses have been administered, and 14,704 Montanans have been fully immunized.

The vaccine doses in Park County are being distributed to the Health Department, Livingston HealthCare, Community Health Partners and, if possible, the pharmacies.

The Health Department’s current goal is to vaccinate those ages 80 and up, Desnick said.

Although the vaccine supplies so far have been limited, Desnick said, Park County has the infrastructure to handle a much larger vaccine distribution if more doses become available.

“Everyone’s turn will come,” Desnick said. “In the meantime we need to continue with what we know works — masks and distancing.”

Park County has reported 1,017 COVID-19 cases so far during the pandemic, 88 of which are active.

Overall, there have been 91,816 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Montana, 4,391 of which are active.

There have been 1,151 deaths in Montana attributed to COVID-19, seven of which were Park County residents.