(RiverStone Health Press release)
BILLINGS – Appointments for the third week of the free, Yellowstone County community COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Cedar Hall at MetraPark may be made online starting at 10:15 a.m. today, Friday, February 26. Based on state allocation projections, the Unified Health Command (UHC) expects to have about 2,250 first-dose appointments available the week of March 1, 2021. Clinics are being held:
· Wednesday, March 3 – 8-11:30 a.m. AND 1-4:30 p.m.
· Thursday, March 4 – 8-11:30 a.m. AND 1-4:30 p.m.
· Friday, March 5 – 8-11:30 am.
To schedule a first-dose vaccination appointment, go to mtreadyclinic.org and click on the blue button that says: Find a Clinic. Scrolling down, information for each Cedar Hall vaccination clinic scheduled for next week is listed. If the clinics aren’t listed, type “Metra” into the location search. It’s best to use an internet browser like Google Chrome or Firefox to access the appointments.
The online form has space for insurance information, which does not need to be completed. All COVID-19 vaccinations given at the community clinic are free of charge and no insurance is required.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 1, appointments for the week’s clinics also will be available by calling 406.651.6596. Appointments have been saved for people without the ability to schedule an appointment online.
Appointments are available to Yellowstone County residents who meet the criteria for the 1A or 1B priority groups established by the state of Montana. This includes healthcare workers, first responders, people age 70 or older, people age 16 to 69 with a serious health condition that puts them at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness, Native Americans and other people of color who may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness.
Supply of COVID-19 vaccines has not kept pace with local demand. Community members are asked to have patience as we wait for more vaccine. To ensure that the most vulnerable Montanans are protected against COVID-19 first, please abide by the priority criteria and don’t schedule a vaccination appointment until it’s your turn.
Here’s what to expect at the clinics:
· Blue signs inside the MetraPark entrance at Fourth Avenue North direct you to Cedar Hall on the midway.
· Parking is available near Cedar Hall. Stay in your vehicle until five minutes before your appointment to help avoid crowding.
· Masks are required in Cedar Hall.
· After receiving a vaccination, you will be instructed to stay for observation for 15 minutes, possibly 30 minutes if you have a history of certain allergic reactions.
· You will get an appointment for your second vaccine dose before leaving the building. Second doses are being provided at the Shrine Auditorium, 1125 Broadwater Ave.
St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings Clinic and RiverStone Health are providing staff for the COVID-19 centralized community vaccination clinics. In addition, the Montana National Guard is assisting with staffing.
Each UHC healthcare organization has discontinued first-dose COVID-19 vaccine clinics and people who received their first-dose from one of these providers will get their second-dose from the same provider.
COVID-19 vaccinations are by appointment only. No walk-in vaccinations are being given.
Individuals who previously submitted a St. Vincent Vaccine Notification Sign Up form on the SCL Health website will still be contacted when an appointment at Cedar Hall is available. However, due to the volume of forms submitted, Yellowstone County eligible individuals are encouraged to go to mtreadyclinic.org to schedule an appointment.
Please wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if you have received any other vaccinations 14 days prior. After being vaccinated for COVID-19, do not receive any other vaccines for 14 days. Individuals who have received convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibody treatment should defer COVID-19 vaccination for at least 90 days.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, log on to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html [cdc.gov]