GLENDIVE — Unified Health Command of Dawson County has released the distribution phases for COVID-19 vaccinations based on the state’s new COVID-19 vaccination plan per Governor Gianforte. At this time, the first amount of vaccinations has been given to as many Phase 1a individuals as allotted and there are currently no vaccinations on hand.

“We have placed an order for more vaccinations to begin Phase 1b,” stated Parker Powell, CEO of Glendive Medical Center, “Ultimately; it depends on the amount we receive and the timeliness of the deliveries as to how quickly we can start providing vaccinations to our community.” The Dawson County Health Department may receive the next shipment prior to Glendive Medical Center. The state has estimated the next shipments may be sent by mid-January.

Phase 1a began two weeks ago with vaccination of Glendive Medical Center staff and first responders who have direct contact with patients as well as long-term care facility staff and residents. This phase has recently expanded per Governor Gianforte’s direction to include additional healthcare workers in the community that have direct patient contact, such as dentists, orthodontists, physical therapists, optometrists, home health workers and others that fit the criteria.

Phase 1b will include persons aged 70 years and older, persons aged 16-69 with high-risk medical conditions including: Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, COPD, Down Syndrome, heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies), immunocompromised state (weakened immune system), from solid organ transplant, severe obesity (BMI ≥40kg/m2), Sickle Cell Disease, and Type 1 & 2 Diabetes Mellitus. On a case by case basis, medical providers may include individuals with other conditions that place them at elevated risk for COVID-19 related complications. American Indians and other people of color who may be at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications are also included in this phase.

Phase 1c will include frontline essential workers, persons aged 60 or older, individuals residing in congregate care and correctional facilities, and persons aged 16-59 with medical conditions not included in Phase 1B that may have an elevated risk of COVID-19 complications. These conditions include: Asthma (moderate to severe), Cerebrovascular disease (affects the blood vessels and blood supply to the brain), Cystic fibrosis, Hypertension or high blood pressure, Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines, Neurologic conditions, such as dementia, Liver disease, Overweight (BMI >25 kg/m2, but

Glendive Medical Center (GMC) and Dawson County Health Department (DCHD) will broadly communicate when the next vaccines are available and how to sign up for an appointment.

For relevant information about COVID-19 from DPHHS, visit: https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/coronavirusmt. For up-to-date information about patient and visitor guidelines at GMC, please visit www.gmc.org/COVID-19

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