GALLATIN COUNTY — If you’ve seen the Montana Vaccine Distribution dashboard, then you’ve noticed Gallatin County is behind in numbers compared to other counties with similar populations.
“This is something that’s being seen nationwide. The vaccine demand far outweighs the supply,” said Bekki Wehner with Montana's Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS).
DPHHS is in charge of updating the COVID dashboard and distributing the vaccine per county.
“You want to be looking at the number of eligible people in that population for Phase 1B in that community as well, and then we just take the total number of vaccine that’s available to us and do our best to divide it equally among people who will be receiving the vaccine,” Wehner said.
Gallatin County falls behind other counties and people want to know why.
“Vaccine and vaccine administration are always — they’re always subject to other things as well. For instance, how many people in a community may want to accept the vaccine, if there’s any reason the vaccine may be delayed in a certain community,” said Wehner.
Other factors include the number of hospitals, healthcare workers, first responders and minority communities. But now that we’re out of phase 1A, DPHHS is hopeful numbers will balance out.
“I would think that it would even out. You know, soon enough at least in the 1B population. But the percentage of folks vaccinated in the county might lag a little bit behind, but we’ll be sure that they receive enough vaccine to get caught up,” Wehner said. “We know that the Phase 1B population is very large, and we have a lot of people in line to get vaccine. It’s just going to take a little bit of time.”
Being patient seems to be the universal answer for everyone.