Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot available

Booster roll out, Bozeman Health no visitor policy, and Deaconess Hospital at 100% capacity

In the first time since mass vaccine campaigns were rolled out across Montana in early 2021, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital announced it would offer Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccines to the public starting on Monday, Sept. 27. The booster shots are only available for Pfizer-BioNTech recipients six months after completion of their primary series and will be available by appointment at www.healthygallatin.org. Bozeman Health anticipates receiving guidance on the Moderna and J&J vaccine booster shots in the coming weeks as they are still awaiting FDA approval. No booster shots are currently available at Big Sky Medical Center however conversations to receive a supply are in the works.

The Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots, which were approved for emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), should be received by people six months after completion of their primary series who are:

- Aged 65 years and older;

- Residents in long term care facilities;

- Aged 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions.

- Aged 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot based on their individual benefits and risk.

- Aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a boosters shot based on their individual benefits and risk.

- For questions about the Pfizer booster vaccine, please contact GCCHD at (406) 548-0123

According to the CDC, “With the Delta variant’s dominance as the circulating strain and cases of COVID-19 increasing significantly across the United States, a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.”

COVID-19 Incident Commander for Bozeman Health, Kallie Kujawa, also announced that Deaconess Hospital is at 100% capacity across the ICU, medical, and surgical departments. The hospital however has not entered surge phase and is still providing standard quality of care as opposed to crisis care. They are 100% full.

As of Friday, Sept. 24, 10 in 20 patients in Deaconess Hospital’s ICU are COVID-19 positive. In the medical department, which does not require as intensive care, 17 in 39 patients are COVID-19 positive. According to Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), COVID-19 has taken the lives of 269 Montanans from April 1 to Sept. 17, 2021. Of those 269 deaths, 57 people were vaccinated (21%) and 212 of them were unvaccinated (79%).

The State has approved 10 National Guard Members to help supplement hospital staff at Deaconess Hospital with countless other hospitals across the state also requesting support. In total, over 100 National Guard have been deployed to at least 11 hospitals across Montana according to Governor Gianforte’s office. 

Additionally, Bozeman Health will be implementing a no visitor policy across their health care system to protect the safety of their patients and staff during this high transmission phase of COVID-19. Big Sky Medical Center will be included in this decision. To clarify, no visitors will be allowed into Bozeman Health hospitals unless they meet one of these four criteria: end of life situations; pediatric care; behavioral health or emotional support; and obstetric procedures, visits, or ultrasounds.

To support the tireless work of our local healthcare professionals—who have been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 for almost two years at this point—please consider donating to the COVID-19 Compassion Fund, which provides coffee, snacks, treats, drinks, meals, etc. on Bozeman Health’s website (www.bozemanhealth.org/ support-our-mission/online-donation/). They have raised over $3,000 dollars in the last week according to spokeswoman Lauren Brendel. Positive comments on social media, cards, and photos are also always appreciated by Bozeman Health staff. Please feel free to note how you’d like your donation used and for what healthcare location.

COVID update from A1 Vaccine approvals and recommendations

PFIZER

Approved for: FDA approved for ages 16 and up, emergency use approval for ages 12-15 Booster? CDC now recommends that people aged 65 years and older, residents in long-term care settings, and people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. Other groups may receive a booster shot based on their individual risk and benefit.

MODERNA Approved for: FDA emergency use approval for ages 18 and up Booster? Not yet approved.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON Approved for: FDA emergency use approval for ages 18 and up Booster? Not yet approved.

For vaccine information, Montanans are encouraged to go to covidvaccine.mt.gov. Montanans can text their zip code to GETVAX (438829) for the nearest vaccination location.

More Information

Lone Peak Lookout

Cori Koenig, editor: editor@lonepeaklookout.com
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