April 23, 2021
Subject: Update to Implementation of COVID-19 Vaccination in Montana
Background: As of April 19th, 107,202 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Montana. This includes over 4,900 Montanans who were hospitalized and nearly 1,550 COVID-19 related deaths. Most cases have been reported from the larger counties in the state. Initial analyses of Montana COVID-19 cases revealed that Individuals between 20-29 years of age account for 19% of all reported COVID-19 cases to date followed by 30-39 years (16%) and 40-49 years (13%). The majority of severe COVID-19 cases (hospitalizations and deaths) were 65 years or older. Of severe COVID-19 presentations where additional information was available, local public health investigation determined 87% of those hospitalized and 94% of deaths reported at least one underlying condition.
The COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Montana have been managed through federal, state, and local partners. Currently, there are 3 vaccines on the market: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and & Johnson. However, it is important to note that the use of J&J has been paused at this time to allow for more information regarding a rare type of blood clot. Both Moderna and Pfizer are actively being administered in health jurisdictions across the state. As of April 19th, over 643,283 individual shots have been administered and over 278,888 Montanans are fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus.
Among all eligible individuals aged 16+, 44% have received at least a single dose of vaccine. Vaccine uptake varies considerably by age group (Figure), with many groups well under 50% vaccinated.
Additional information tracking Montana’s efforts are available at the DPHHS website at:
https://dphhs.mt.gov/ and at CDC’s vaccine tracking site at: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations
Detailed recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) related to use of COVID- 19 vaccines can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/vacc-specific/covid-19.html
Information: On April 1, 2021, the Governor’s office opened vaccine eligibility to all Montanans aged 16 and older. Currently, a person may receive vaccines through their local health department, pharmacy, healthcare provider, or a federal partner like the Veteran’s Administration and Indian Health Service.
An increasing supply, additional vaccine administration locations, and decreased demand have allowed for vaccines to readily available to anyone who qualifies. Montana is now seeing an increase in the amount of unscheduled and unused appointments at mass vaccination clinics requiring a change in the manner that vaccines are offered to the public.
Health Care Providers
All providers should continue to recommend COVID-19 vaccination to their patients. This includes:
– Individuals at high-risk for COVID-19 related complications.
– All individuals 16+ who are eligible for vaccine to reduce the risk of infection, serious illness or death, as well reduce transmission to others, many of whom may be at increased risk.
If vaccine is not readily available in the provider clinic, consider enrolling as a COVID-19 vaccine provider by contacting the state Immunization program at 406-444-5580 or refer patients to the nearest COVID-19 vaccine administration site. If not already aware, we recommend consulting with your local public health partners or the hospital in your community to determine what health care providers are currently able to provide vaccine or visit covidvaccine.mt.gov for an updated list of providers in your area.
Public Health Departments
Continue to work with vaccine providers in the community to monitor vaccine supplies and local efforts to continue to vaccinate anyone who is eligible. Planning for the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination should begin now as we transition from mass vaccination clinics to the provision of vaccine in specific settings during the month of May. We are asking public health partners to evaluate their jurisdictions and consider the following activities:
• Outreach to large employers, churches, schools and daycare staff, and other congregate settings to offer or facilitate onsite vaccination during the month of May.
• Offering special hours of COVID-19 vaccination for walk-ins at your clinic. This may help reduce wastage from the larger multi-dose vials.
• Providing educational materials and/or trainings to other local partners on the importance of COVID-19 vaccination in the community.
• Encouraging other vaccine providers, including primary care clinics, to enroll as COVID-19 vaccination providers.
We will be updating messaging from DPHHS weekly with respect to vaccine supplies and uptake of vaccine.
Summary Document for Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States – https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/summary-interim-clinical-considerations.pdf
Full document: (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html)
COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Errors and Deviations
Provides resources for preventing and reporting COVID-19 vaccine administration errors, as well as actions to take after an error has occurred.
COVID-19 Vaccine Quick Reference Guide for Healthcare Professionals
Provides basic information on the proper storage, preparation, and administration of the currently
authorized COVID-19 vaccine products in the United States.
Pre-vaccination Screening Form English
To determine any reason not to administer COVID-19 vaccine
Communication Resources for COVID-19 Vaccines
Print Resources from CDC promoting COVID-19 Vaccination