BOZEMAN — On Monday, Governor Steve Bullock announced the first round of a COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be delivered to Montana as early as December 15th.
That first shipment will be for healthcare workers across the state of Montana. Including 975 doses to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital.
“It’s kinda the light of a very long tunnel, and we have a long way to go, but I do think that it’s very encouraging,” said Birgen Knoff, System Director of Clinical Practice at Bozeman Health.
Bozeman Health Deaconess hospital, along with 9 other hospitals statewide, are expecting to see their first round of a vaccine soon.
“The doses will be coming as soon as the hearings have approved Pfizer's as a vaccine for the distributor for the vaccine,” said Knoff.
Bozeman Health employees over 2,300 people, 1800 of those individuals have face-to-face contact with patients.
With 975 doses, that means not everyone who has regular contact with patients will get one.
“The decision for vaccination is really up to a task force that we’ve formed. So that task force is going to do some risk prioritization so that will lead us to an understanding of who should get the doses first,” said Knoff.
“It is not required, it is not a condition of employment, so they will choose whether they want to get the vaccine,” said Knoff.
Bozeman Health said the first dose of the vaccine will be administered in-house.
“Right now, we’re looking at our providers to help work through that with our healthcare team. Those providers are nurses, physicians, PA’s, nurse practitioners, other folks who are able to give vaccinations.”
That second round of doses will arrive in a separate shipment, which should be taken 21 days apart from the first.