Butte Health Department plans to go mobile to vaccinate more people

Posted at 7:00 PM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 21:40:42-04

BUTTE - In order to get more people vaccinated in Butte-Silver Bow, it may be time to take the show on the road.

“We need to make ourselves more available for folks that maybe can’t get to us as easily or need to be accommodated at a different time,” said Diane Regan, operations manager for the Butte Health Department.

The health board is meeting to find creative ways to get to people, like seeking large employers and asking them if they want to hold a clinic for their employees.

Some ideas are being inspired from places outside of Montana.

“In Louisiana, they were doing a shot for a shot, you’d get a shot if you got your shot. There’s all kinds of instances floating around out there that made you giggle, but it somewhat works,” said Regan.

The health department can administer shots from a mobile unit that can get anywhere in the county, so this gives them options to come up with creative ways to try to get needles in arms.

“Maybe even going and parking in a park and put up a sign and advertise this is where we’re going to be on this day from here to here and see if we can get a response,” she said.

Attendance at Butte’s vaccinations clinics at the Butte Civic Center has sharply declined recently with only about 390 doses administered at last week’s clinic. Almost half the county has been fully immunized, but more vaccinations need to happen.

"If we can get a big percentage of the population vaccinated there’s not much fear of the virus is going to come and create a cluster of cases and we’re back to square one," Regan said.

As of May, about 13,800 people have been fully immunized out of an eligible 28,500 people. Any business wanting the health department to vaccinate their employees can call 497-5008, or get vaccinated at the Health Department Office on Front street Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.