Wednesday was an eye-opening experience for all involved with COVID 19 vaccinations, after the 400 slots at the Adams Center were snapped up in less than one hour, and the Lucky’s Market clinic in a similarly short time.

Public Information Officer Nick Holloway commented on how quickly the public responded to the first two vaccination clinics.

“When we announced those, we started getting a lot of calls right away for people to sign up,” said Holloway. “We also put that online on our website so that people could go there and self schedule their vaccine and boy, did they! They really did it fast. We filled up 402 spots in about an hour for the Adams Center event and there was I believe over 200 for the event today at Lucky's”

Holloway emphasized the importance of choosing the online sign up option over using the 258-INFO sign up method.

“It also really helps when people can sign up online,” he said. “People that are reliant upon call takers are at a disadvantage because when you sign up online, you could have 1,000 people simultaneously scheduling a vaccine and filling up all the spots, but we only have a limited number of call takers to help one person at a time.”

Holloway suggested that those who are not internet savvy or who have no internet access should rely on a friend who is capable of helping with the online registration.

“If those folks that are not internet savvy or do not have internet access are able to get the help of friends and family, then they’ll be able to move pretty quickly when the opportunities arise,” he said. “I think that would be put them in the best position to get a vaccine as early as possible.”

Holloway held out some hope for those who have a healthcare provider who may schedule their vaccination for them.

“Some folks have pre established relationships with health care providers,” he said. “They should look on that COVID-19 dot missoula.co website or call 258 info to see what that particular provider that they have a relationship with is asking them to do in order to sign up for a vaccination. In most cases, or in a lot of cases, the providers are saying don't call us we'll reach out to you when the time is right. So that may also help keep the lines and the calls short.”

Holloway said that University of Montana security personnel will be on hand on Sunday to lend a hand if necessary.

Holloway also said other locations throughout the county are being considered for future vaccination clinics.

The website to register for future vaccination clinics is COVID19.missoula.co and the phone number for assistance is 258-INFO (4636)

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