MISSOULA ꟷ The University of Montana’s Health Services Pharmacy, operated by the University’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy, will administer more than 450 COVID-19 vaccines to residents in local assisted and senior living facilities this week.
The school’s partnership with the Missoula City-County Health Department will allow for the completion of the Phase 1A COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
“We’re excited to help deliver COVID-19 vaccines to those who are among the most vulnerable for serious complications from coronavirus,” said Kenneth Chatriand, manager of the UM Pharmacy and coordinator of community advanced student pharmacy practice. “This is a tremendous undertaking – delivering vaccines to tens of thousands in Missoula County over the coming months – and we’re all working together.”
Missoula County’s Office of Emergency Management COVID-19 Vaccine Coordination team is working closely with UM and the other agencies with vaccine – including MCCHD, local pharmacies and hospitals – to coordinate scheduling vaccination events and ensure the phased delivery proceeds as efficiently as possible.
Compared to influenza, administering COVID-19 vaccines requires significantly more logistical coordination, noted Chatriand.
“There are more moving parts, from ensuring the vaccine events themselves have COVID-19 mitigations (spacing, masks, etc.), to identifying individuals in each phase and scheduling not one, but two shots 3 or 4 weeks apart.”
During the vaccine events, Missoula City Fire Department provides paramedics, EMTs and other support as needed.
UM has received vaccines manufactured by both Moderna and Pfizer, and has the required facilities for safe storage. Last month, the UM was approved as a vaccine holding and distribution center.