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Hundreds in Gallatin Valley receive vaccine doses after eligibility opens up

Posted at 4:34 PM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 11:08:06-04

BOZEMAN — It’s been a very frustrating process for many people to get vaccinated, but on Friday it became a reality for hundreds of Gallatin County residents.

“It was really surprisingly easy, and I’m not that great with needles. So it was actually way better than I thought. (Laughing) I was like hyping myself up, and it didn’t hurt at all, so that was nice,” said Gabrielle Lemire, who got her first dose.

This 29-year-old received her first dose and was eligible to do so under Governor Gianforte’s policy extending eligibility to all residents over the age of 16.

“I think I was like, 'ugh how big is the needle going to be?'” Lemire said.

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But she managed to get through the process with no problems like hundreds of others.

“Community Health Partners (CHP) is one of four providers in the county in Gallatin County, so today we’re doing 789 doses of our patients and others that have been referred to us through the county wait list,” explained Buck Taylor, the director of community development for CHP.

For hours, residents came and went through the fairgrounds - a large operation that would not have been possible without the volunteers.

“Morning! It is a beautiful day. I get the luckiest spot here today. This is great,” said volunteer, Al Parker.

Parker spent his day greeting people and pointing them to the next step.

"Welcome! These guys are going to ask you a few questions in here,” he said to a vaccine recipient.

And volunteering is nothing new for him as he also volunteers for the Fort Ellis Fire Department.

“This is a celebration, so I’m just happy to be here and help out just a little bit,” he said.

Dozens of volunteers show up at each clinic for the sole purpose of serving people and helping them navigate the process.

Some people received their first dose while others received their second.

To join the Gallatin County wait list, visit here.