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Butte health officer and COVID-19 task force member confident vaccine will end pandemic

Posted at 6:31 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 11:31:16-05

BUTTE — The end of the coronavirus pandemic may be just a shot away.

“I am very optimistic with the vaccine distribution plan on the horizon. I think it’s our way out, I think our lives will be returned to us, maybe in a half year,” said Butte Health Department Director Karen Sullivan.

Sullivan is on Governor-elect Greg Gianforte’s COVID-19 committee and after recent meeting is feeling confident the new administration is willing to address the pandemic.

“I’m really pleased the governor-elect has made clear that COVID-19 is his priority. I think his philosophy, if I’m reading it right, from the discussions I’ve been involved with: How do you keep people safe yet reopen the economy,” said Sullivan.

St. James Healthcare in Butte will received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this month to be given out to hospital staff and front-line workers first. More doses of the Moderna vaccine will follow later this month or in January.

“As we go down this path with the vaccinations our world is going to improve,” she said.

Once a vaccine is readily available, it will not be mandated that people get vaccinated, but health officials say the best way to get rid of this virus is for everyone to get vaccinated.

“You know, there’s lots of anti-vaccine fervor in this country and part of our role will be to educate and talk through a vaccine-hesitant public,” said Sullivan.

The vaccines are expected to be available to the general public by earlier spring.