May 13, 2021

UM COVID Communication


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Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine now Available for Adolescents Ages 12-15

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 to 15. In an FDA press release, the organization noted, “From March 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021, approximately 1.5 million COVID-19 cases in individuals 11 to 17 years of age have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children and adolescents generally have a milder COVID-19 disease course compared to adults. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, the same dosage and dosing regimen for 16 years of age and older.”

UM’s Health Services Pharmacy Offering Pfizer Vaccine for 12+

The pharmacy inside Curry Health Center will host vaccine clinics all summer, but with the newly announced eligibility for youth, the pharmacy also will have a clinic this Saturday. UM employees and family members are encouraged to make appointments to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Visit the Missoula County vaccination portal for all available clinics to make an appointment. 

Visit to find local pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.

Montana COVID-19 Cases Remain Low

Today, 129 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Montana, along with two more deaths. There are 1,098 active cased in the state, and 1,597 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Missoula County consistently has led the state in the number of vaccines administered. Of the most populous counties, Missoula County has the lowest number of active COVID-19 cases, with 51. Cascade County leads the state, with 219 active COVID-19 cases.

CDC Updates Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People*

The CDC recently updated guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which they define as two weeks after receiving the final dose.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure – if asymptomatic – with some exceptions for specific settings.
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure, if asymptomatic.
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.

*Note: These recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings. For related information for healthcare settings, visit Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.

UM and MUS Offer Vaccine Incentive to University Students

Students at any Montana college or university can receive $20 in gift cards from Town Pump for getting their COVID-19 vaccine between May 1 and June 14. Students will receive a $10 gift card for their first dose and another after their second dose. Students opting for the single-dose J&J vaccine will get both cards at that time. Students can receive their vaccines at Curry Health Center or bring in proof of vaccination to receive the incentive.

The COVID Response Team continues to explore creative ways to incentivize vaccination for students, and the Health Services Pharmacy is looking at holding additional large clinics when students return to campus in the fall.

Missoula County Changes Mask Requirement to Recommendation*

Citing Missoula’s progress with vaccinations and the decrease in new cases, Missoula City-County Health Director Ellen Leahy on Monday announced that Missoula County’s mask requirement would become a recommendation instead. However, the health order identifies specific situations where masks still are strongly recommended.

*Note, UM’s mask policy remains in effect and unchanged at this time.

See Missoula County COVID-19 Vaccine Progress

More than 108,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Missoula County, and more than 52,000 county residents are fully immunized, according to the county vaccine distribution dashboard.

Statewide, more than 758,000 doses have been administered, with close to 362,000 Montanans fully immunized.

Be well,
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