By Tim Leeds 

COVID vax booster clinics, child vaccinations underway


Last updated 11/9/2021 at 9:55am

Havre Daily News/File photo

A vial of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine sits on a table at a vaccination clnic in Holiday Village Mall.

Editor’s note: This version corrects the time of the children’s vaccination clinics being held by Northern Montana Health Care.

The local health care community is in high gear right now, working to provide influenza vaccinations while also providing the recently approved COVID-19 vaccination boosters and, now, offering shots and clinics for children ages 5 and older.

Blaine County Health Department at 406-357-2345 held a flu vaccination clinic last Thursday, and has a COVID-19 booster shot clinic set for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Commercial Building at the Blaine County Fairgrounds from 3-6:30 p.m. each day.

Northern Montana Health Care held booster shot clinics last week and is holding clinics for children to get vaccinated this week Tuesday and Thursday at Havre's Holiday Village Mall, from 4 - 7 p.m. each day.

A Facebook post from Northern Montana Health Care said the Pfizer vaccine is available for ages 5-18, a two-shot series 21 days apart. A parent or guardian must be present.

Pfizer vaccination forms are available at Northern Montana Health Care's "Documents" page at .

Flu shots also will be available at the clinic, the post said.

Hill County Health Department announced it has appointments available for children 5-11 Wednesday, Nov. 10, and invited people ta call 406-400-2415 for more information.

Rocky Boy Health Center also has scheduled vaccination clinics for children 5-11, with one from 3 - 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, and another 3 - 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, both in the Rocky Boy Health Center Grand Hallway. A parent or guardian must be present with the child, the Facebook post announcing the clinics said.

Another post said appointments will be available at the health center Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Child vaccines will not be administered at the mobile locations at this time and incentives will be announced soon, the post said.

It invited people to call 406-395-1655 to schedule a vaccination appointment.

Fort Belknap Indian Community announced in a Facebook post that influenza and COVID-19 vaccination clinics are scheduled at Lodge Pole elementary school Tuesday, Nov. 9, starting at 10 a.m. and Harlem Elementary School Friday, Nov. 12, also starting at 10 a.m.

Children have been sent home with consent slips, the Facebook post said.

Chouteau and Liberty county's health departments also have been busy hosting clinics and getting vaccinations and boosters out.

FDA authorized Sept. 22 giving a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to eligible populations which originally had been vaccinated with that vaccine.

Those eligible groups the FDA has authorized using boosters are people 65 and older, people 18 to 64 at high risk of severe COVID-19 and people 18 to 64 years old who live or work in areas giving them frequent exposure to COVID-19.

People in those groups could get a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months after the completion of the original vaccination series - the Pfizer vaccinations required two shots to be complete.

FDA's Oct. 20 authorization allows a single booster shot of the Moderna vaccine at half the dosage of an original vaccination at least six months after completion of a vaccination series -the Moderna vaccine also uses a two-shot series for full vaccination - and allows a single booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, which only gave one shot for its vaccination, at least two months after completion of vaccination with that vaccine for anyone 18 and older.

And the authorization allows people to "mix-and-match" their booster, getting a booster with any of the authorized vaccines even if it is different than the vaccine used in the original vaccination.

The release gives an example that Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine recipients 18 years of age and older may receive a single booster dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (half dose) or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at least two months after receiving their Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine primary vaccination. 

In another example, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine recipients falling into one of the authorized categories for boosters may receive a booster dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine - half dose - Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine at least six months after completing their primary vaccination.

The Pfizer vaccine, which has been fully approved for use in people 16 and older, has been given emergency authorization for use in children ages 5 to 15.

The Johnson & Johnson/Jansen and Moderna vaccines are only authorized for people 18 and older, although work is underway to have them authorized for younger children.

Studies also are underway on authorizing vaccines for children younger than 5.

During the surge, health officials have continued the message they have given basically from the start of the pandemic.

People should stay home if they don't feel well, the officials say, should regularly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap or with a hand sanitizer including at least 60 percent alcohol, should regularly wash and sanitize surfaces, should wear a mask when in indoor public spaces, and anyone who can should get vaccinated.

For more information and to schedule vaccinations, local residents have a list of resources.

In Hill County, vaccinations are available through Bullhook Community Health Center, 406-395-4305; the Hill County Health Department, 406-400-2415; Northern Montana Health Care's Specialty Medical Center at 406-265-7831 or its Family Medical Center at 406-265-5408; Western Drug Pharmacy, 406-265-9601; Gary & Leo's Pharmacy, which takes walk-ins; Walmart; and the Rocky Boy Health Center, 406-395-1655.

Vaccinations are available in Blaine County through Blaine County Health Department, 406-357-2345, and Fort Belknap Health Center, 406-353-3219.

Vaccine is available in Chouteau County at the Chouteau County Health Department, 406-622-3771, and Big Sandy Pharmacy at 406-378-5588.

People can call Liberty County Health Department at 406-759-5517 to schedule a vaccination.


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