(RiverStone Health news release)
Billings – A Yellowstone County man in his 80s died on Friday, Aug. 13, at a Billings hospital from COVID-19 related illness. He had been fully vaccinated and had underlying health conditions, according to information received by RiverStone Health.
“I offer my deepest sympathy to his family and friends,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County health officer and RiverStone Health president and CEO. “This man became Yellowstone County’s second COVID-19 fatality in August and the 287th fatality since the pandemic began.”
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise in Montana, this death is a tragic reminder that COVID-19 vaccines aren’t 100% effective. However, the latest medical research indicates that people fully vaccinated have greater than 90% protection against serious illness and death from this virus. Among the 287 Yellowstone County residents who have died because of COVID-19 illness, six had been fully vaccinated. Five of those six people were over the age of 80. The other victim was a younger person whose immune system was compromised.
More than four of every five recent COVID-19 patients in Billings hospitals had not gotten vaccinated before they got sick. On Tuesday, Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare together had 54 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, including 17 in ICU and 13 on ventilators. A month earlier, their COVID-19 patient count was 14 with six in ICU and only one on a ventilator.
If you have concerns about vaccination, please discuss them with your personal healthcare provider and consider getting vaccinated. Vaccinations are available to everyone age 12 and older at many local pharmacies, clinics and both Billings hospitals.
RiverStone Health will offer these free, walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics this month:
· August 20, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., RiverStone Health, Lil Anderson Center, 123 S. 27th St., (four-story building), Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered.
· August 30, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Rocky Mountain College, in the Bair Family Student Center, with Pfizer and J&J.
· RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic, 123 S. 27th, in the Lil Anderson Center, is offering appointments for all students’ back-to-school vaccinations, including the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations will be available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today through Friday, Aug. 20. Call 247-3382 for an appointment. COVID-19 vaccinations and childhood immunizations will still be available after this week, but hours for appointments will be reduced.
More vaccination information is posted at covid.riverstonehealth.org.