Yellowstone County expands COVID-19 vaccine availability

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Appointments for free COVID-19 vaccination clinics are now being offered to all Yellowstone County residents age 16 and older.

More than 2,300 appointments were made available starting on March 18 to county residents in priority groups and about 1,000 remained open Tuesday for clinics that will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Cedar Hall at MetraPark.

“Expanding COVID-19 vaccine availability to all Yellowstone County residents age 16-plus is a good sign that we are moving in the right direction and on our way to a more normal life,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County health officer and RiverStone Health president. “If you want a vaccine, please go to mtreadyclinic.org and schedule your appointment.”

Nearly 128,000 Yellowstone County residents are eligible for the vaccine based on their age of 16 or older, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. So far, only about 20% of this population has been fully immunized against COVID-19, according to DPHHS. Between 70% and 85% of residents need to be immunized to protect our community against the virus.

Advance COVID-19 vaccination appointments are required for these clinics at Cedar Hall at MetraPark and can be made online at mtreadyclinic.org. The website may still state that appointments are only for priority group members, but, in fact, any county resident age 16 or older will receive an appointment if available. The clinics are:

  • Wednesday 1 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday 8 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday 8 to noon.

These clinics are organized by the Yellowstone County Unified Health Command (UHC), which includes St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings Clinic, RiverStone Health and Yellowstone County Disaster and Emergency Services. UHC partners and the Montana National Guard are staffing the clinics.

Your second COVID-19 vaccination will be scheduled for three weeks after your first vaccination, so be sure you will be available then when you schedule your first dose. Second doses are given at the Shrine Auditorium, 1125 Broadwater Ave.

Remember to wear short-sleeved clothing that allows easy access to your shoulder for the shot.

Masks are required in Cedar Hall and in the Shrine Auditorium. Please remain in your vehicle until five minutes before your scheduled appointment. For your safety, you will need to remain at the clinic for observation for 15 minutes after vaccination. People with histories of certain allergic reactions will need to stay 30 minutes.

More information on COVID-19 vaccination is posted at covid.riverstonehealth.org.

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