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CFVH Covid-19 Update - 3/1/21

Monday, March 1, 2021

Mid-March 2020 was when the Covid Pandemic became an overwhelming part of what we dealt with on a daily basis. That was when we had to lock down our Long Term Care facility and soon after we stopped all elective surgeries. We quickly moved departments and opened or Respiratory Illness Clinic. Masks became a normal part of our lives here. The months that followed are now almost a blur, and Covid activity has slowed but still continues.

We are now embroiled in the effort to vaccinate individuals as quickly as possible. The rapidity and volume of information related to this pandemic continues to outpace anything we have ever dealt with, and that is no less true with relation to the vaccines. We continue to receive the Moderna vaccine, which to date still is a 2 dose procedure. Research has shown it to limit the development of severe disease. The initial research was not focused on if you could be a carrier after receiving the vaccine, so although it is believed to do so, that specific question is only now beginning to have data that can be used to decide the question. It currently appears that the 2 dose Moderna regimen shows 94% effectiveness after 2 weeks. The need for a booster is unknown.

The Pfizer vaccine required storage at a temperature we could not accommodate so we have received the Moderna formulation. It is now felt the Pfizer vaccine can be stored at higher temperatures, but we don’t know if we will begin to receive it, or continue to receive the Moderna. In addition, Johnson and Johnson has developed a single dose vaccine. When or if we might receive it is unknown, but my hope is it will be available when we begin phase 2 administration (general population).

We have not yet seen any serious vaccine reactions nor covid reinfections in our county. Our vaccination clinics remains busy. Over 2000 Covid-19 Interest surveys have been completed with eligibility for phase 1b/1c administration. 440 individuals have received both needed injections, and another 1,207 have had their first dose. The county health department has administered additional doses.

Our next vaccination clinic is planned for March 6 and we hope to administer 550 injections. That will leave about 78 phase 1b individuals who have completed our survey and not yet received their first dose. We do not know when the state will give us supplies to start focusing on the phase 1c population. However, we will work to distribute those as quickly as possible when we receive them.

If you are interested in data regarding testing, diagnosis, vaccine volumes from any Montana county, take a look at the Montana Response website. it will show date for Sanders county that includes all the information that is created from work at Clark Fork Valley Hospital and through the Sanders County Health Department. Last, but not least, even once you receive a vaccine, I still encourage you to use a mask, stay home if you are sick, practice good hand hygiene, and be cautious of large group gatherings.

Gregory S. Hanson, MD


Clark Fork Valley Hospital

CFVH Covid-19 Vaccination Interest Survey

The purpose of this survey is to accumulate a list of eligible Sanders County, Montana residents who are ready to get their Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available for Phase 1b and 1c distribution. We hope that by identifying those wanting to get the vaccine, it will help us secure the correct amount of dosages as well as streamline our scheduling process to alleviate the number of scheduling inquiries received by our Family Medicine Network offices. Click the button below to learn more and/or complete the survey.

Family Medicine Network

Healthcare across Sanders County

Thompson Falls


Hot Springs