ST. IGNATIUS — Tribal Health continues to work with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to advocate for available allocations of COVID-19 vaccinations for our community.
There are limited amounts of vaccines available, so the state plan prioritizes the most vulnerable groups, including American Indians.
Beginning this Friday, January 22, 2021, Tribal Health will begin a regular COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the St. Ignatius Fitness Center gymnasium, and the KwaTaqNuk Resort in Polson.
These COVID vaccination clinics will run regularly Monday through Wednesday, from 9am to 2pm; and Thursday through Friday, from 1-6pm. Tribal Health is being allocated the Moderna vaccine by the state and clinics will run on this schedule pending our ability to get enough allocations of the vaccine, or until vaccines are gone.
Tribal Health patients are required to preregister and schedule a specific time to come into the clinics for a COVID vaccination. No walk-in appointments will be allowed.
Patients can register online for appointments at: https://www.mtreadyclinic.org.
Please check this site regularly for updates on allocations and additional appointment times for the Tribal Health vaccination clinics, pending the state’s ongoing ability to send vaccines.
Additionally, Tribal Health patients can also call Tribal Health Community Health nurses at 406-745-3525, to provide their name and phone number. A Community Health staff scheduler will then call each patient to schedule an appointment time for each patient to arrive and get vaccinated.
Upon arrival to your appointment, each patient will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. Each patient will also receive information about the vaccines, and a card that has the date to receive the second dose of the vaccine. After getting an immunization, patients will be asked to stay for an additional 15 minutes of post-vaccination monitoring.
Currently, Tribal Health is moving into Phase 1B of the state vaccination plan. Below, please find more detailed information about prioritized group of patients and timelines.
Tribal Health is currently vaccinating Tribal Elders (those over age 70). Tribal Health is actively identifying and calling this group of patients to schedule vaccinations as more doses become available.
As always, this planning is subject to change, according to availability of the vaccines.
December 15 - January 15 (Phase 1A)
- Frontline healthcare workers
- Long-term Care and Assisted Living Facilities (LTC/ALF)
- Healthcare workers with direct patient contact or virus exposure
January 15 - March 15 (Phase 1B)
- Persons aged 70 years and older
- American Indians and other people of color who may be at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications
- Persons aged 16-69 with high-risk medical conditions. Qualifying medical conditions include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- 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 ≥ 40 kg/m2)
- Sickle cell disease
- 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.
March 15 - July 15 (Phase 1C)
- Frontline Essential Workers
- Persons aged 60 years and older
- Individuals residing in congregate care and correctional facilities
- Persons aged 16-59 with medical conditions not included in phase 1B that may have an elevated-risk of COVID-19 complications, conditions include:
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects 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 < 40 kg/m2)
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
July 2021 onward (Phase 2)
- All remaining Montanans aged 16 or older
Tribal Health health care providers encourage everyone to get vaccinated because it is a key step in saving lives and ending the pandemic. We recognize this is a personal decision, though, and that many people have questions about the vaccine.
Below you will find some educational resources to help you learn more:
Right now, we also know that the COVID-19 vaccines will require two doses. Depending on which one is given, people will need to schedule coming back to their health care provider to receive the second shot 21 or 28 days apart.
The full benefits of immunity are not reached until two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine, so as cases of COVID continue to rise, Tribal Health reminds everyone that it is critical now to physically distance, wear a mask and wash your hands. Also, minimize gatherings, potlucks and delay travel if possible.
A draft of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan can be found here.
For more information, please visit the Tribal Health website at www.cskthealth.org.