GALLATIN COUNTY — The first Gallatin County Emergency Management POD is here. POD stands for Point Of Dispensing, and the first location has been set up at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.
“We started our first operational day on Monday. Today is the second day of POD operations, and we’re using this to help dispense vaccinations for Covid-19 to healthcare personnel around the county,” explained Patrick Lonergan, the Gallatin County Emergency Management Chief.
The POD’s initial goal is to vaccinate healthcare workers not already included in vaccination processes.
“Some of the large healthcare providers like the hospital and community health partners received direct allocation of vaccines for the in-house employees, and now we’re using allocations coming from the county to pick up all those other independent providers throughout the county here,” Lonergan said.
Brian Nickolay, the Assistant Chief at the Hyalite Fire Department received his vaccine at the POD, and we got to go along with him.
“It’s not bad. I mean it’s a needle poke, but it’s a 1 to 2. It’s not bad at all,” Nickolay said.
The first responder was in and out in about 20 minutes, including a 15 minute waiting period after the shot was given.
“It’s set up to make it as easy as possible. The schedule, there are not long lines. You walk in, hand in your registration form, go sit down, get the shot. You have to do the 15 minutes of observation time. But yeah, it’s pretty easy,” he said.
MTN News caught up with a healthcare worker after she received her shot and asked her what her initial reaction was to the invitation to be vaccinated.
“Excitement. I guess I was happy to be a part of making sure we’re staying healthy for the greater good,” said Angie Kolar.
The POD right now is only open for healthcare workers who have been sent an invitation to make an appointment. It is not open to the general public yet.