CCHD opening phone line for COVID-19 vaccination list
The Cascade County City-County Health Department has launched a phone-in county COVID-19 vaccination list for people 70 or older who are not able to use the online portal at www.benefis.org/covidvaccine.
A dedicated phone line has been established so that community members can call to be placed on the vaccination list. That number is 791-9250 and CCHD will begin logging messages left after 9 a.m. Jan. 28.
It’s not a CCHD phone line and CCHD staff cannot transfer people to the line.
“Due to very high call volume and limited staff, this will be a voicemail-only line. All messages are time-stamped and will be checked and logged multiple times per day, but callers should not expect a return call until someone calls to schedule their appointment. Like the online portal, the phone line is first-come, first-served. Please do not leave multiple messages on the vaccination list phone line,” according to a CCHD release.
Callers must leave the following information in their message and should take care to speak clearly and slowly:
- Date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
This information must be included in order for the caller to be placed on the list.
Each week, when officials at CCHD, Benefis Health System, Alluvion, and Great Falls Clinic learn how much vaccine has been allocated by state for the following week’s vaccination clinics at the ExpoPark, a certain number of slots will be reserved for people on the list.
“This ensures that people who are unable to schedule using the online portal will be able to access some of the open slots. However, the public should be aware that a higher proportion of slots are available via the online portal, and individuals have a greater chance of getting an appointment using the online portal than the phone line,” according to the CCHD release.
If individuals wish to be placed on the waiting list but do have internet access or if they prefer a method where they can confirm that their information was received, they can email their information to firstname.lastname@example.org instead of leaving a voicemail. Each email must include name, date of birth, phone number and address. They will receive an auto-reply message confirming that their email was received, according to CCHD.
“We thank our community members for their patience in this trying time, where demand for the COVID-19 vaccine far outstrips supply. According to state data, over 10,000 people aged 70 or older live in Cascade County, and we anticipate a vaccine allocation of 1,000 to 1,500 doses per week from State. Another 16,000 people aged 16-69 with Tier 1-B qualifying health conditions live in Cascade County. Montana is currently working with a very limited supply of vaccine and understands that Cascade County can handle more vaccine than state and federal governments can currently provide. The state continues to advocate for more vaccine and vaccination efforts will scale up quickly if more vaccine becomes available,” according to CCHD.
Scheduling for the next round of appointment slots opens 9 a.m. Jan. 28 for appointments on Feb. 1, Feb. 3 and Feb. 5.
Eligible people should go to www.Benefis.org/COVIDvaccine immediately at 9 a.m. Jan. 28 to secure their slots. People who cannot go to the website can leave a voicemail starting at 9 a.m. by calling 406-791-9250 and leaving a voicemail with name, date of birth, phone number and address, according to CCHD.
Vaccinations will take place at a walk-in clinic at Montana ExpoPark’s Family Living Center, 400 3rd St. N.W.
Stay up to date by visiting https://www.cascadecountymt.gov/462/COVID-19-Vaccination.