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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Cascade County Shifts To Targeted Vaccination Strategy

Moderna COVID vaccine in a small bottle

Cascade County health officials are winding down their mass COVID-19 vaccination events. The county is shifting to a more targeted vaccination strategy with hopes of getting more doses in the arms of young people in order to reach herd immunity.

Cascade County Health Officer Trisha Gardner says the county health department’s mass vaccination site will remain open through the end of the month for those who received their first shot there and need the final jab.

"It’s not that the vaccine is going away or availability is going away. It’s just changing where that’s going to be available."

Gardner says demand for the shots is going down before the county has hit its goal of reaching 70 to 80-percent of the population, likely needed for herd immunity. She says the county is working on a public vaccination campaign targeting younger people, who are accounting for most of the recent cases. 

About 50 percent of the county’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Gardner says the county health department will provide vaccines at its clinical offices two times a week and that the county will also distribute some of its vaccine supply to local providers who are enrolled in the state’s COVID vaccine program. She points out that many pharmacies have shots available as well. 

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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