Public Health: Hope for the future after a challenging year

Drenda Niemann

As a new year begins, it’s a good time to take a moment to reflect on last year.

Our community started 2021 in the second year of the pandemic and coming off a spike in COVID-19 cases. Pfizer’s vaccine was released toward the end of December 2020 to huge demand, and the local vaccination team began what would turn into a yearlong (and counting!) mission to get shots in arms to everyone in our community.

The local vaccination team, which includes staff from Lewis and Clark Public Health, PureView Health Center, St. Peter’s Health, Rocky Mountain Development Council (RMDC), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, the Helena Indian Alliance, and many others, worked long hours to put together drive-thru and mobile clinics to provide lifesaving vaccine to thousands and thousands of individuals. The first clinics were limited to critical health care workers and other first responders, but future clinics would soon serve tens of thousands of our community members from all over the tri-county area.

To say the rollout of vaccine clinics marked a chaotic and stressful time for the local vaccination team is

View Source