Tribal Health continues to work with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to advocate for available allocations of COVID-19 vaccinations for our community.
As more members of our community get vaccinated, please find the following question and answers to learn more about what to expect.
How many shots of COVID-19 vaccine do you need?
- There are currently three vaccines authorized for use at this time, and include the names Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson.
- Moderna and Pfizer both need a series of 2 shots.
- The Johnson and Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.
- Currently Tribal Health is using both Moderna and Pfizer for the general patient population, though the state supply is shifting toward more Pfizer vaccines for Tribal Health at this time.
- The minimum age to get the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines is 18 years, and for Pfizer it is 16 years.
Who can receive the vaccine?
Currently, Tribal Health is receiving enough vaccines from the state to vaccinate:
- Any person who is American Indian;
- Any person who is a member of a household with American Indians;
- Any person who is an employee of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes.
What is the process for getting scheduled and receiving a vaccine?
- Those interested in getting vaccinated should fill out the COVID Vaccine Appointment Request form found here.
- The form can also be located by going to the home page of the Tribal Health website at www.CSKThealth.org.
- Once you have completed the online form and preregistration, a Tribal Health staff member will call you set up an appointment for the first vaccine dose.
- For those who cannot fill out the online form, please call Tribal Health at 406-745-3525 to schedule a COVID vaccination appointment.
How much time should I plan to make for my vaccination appointment?
- Once a patient is scheduled, they will come to the designated site at their scheduled time.
- They will fill out some paperwork and then get vaccinated in one of their upper arms.
- After getting the dose, each patient will be asked to wait for at least 15-30 minutes of monitoring to be sure that the patient does not have an adverse reaction.
- Patients will receive information to register for V-SAFE (an app based program that checks on you for symptoms).
- Patients will leave with a reminder card for the next vaccine date.
How and when do I schedule the second dose of vaccine?
- The Moderna vaccine requires a booster shot within 28 days of the first dose.
- The Pfizer vaccine requires a booster shot within 21 days of the first dose.
- At the time of your first vaccine dose, you will be given a reminder card from your health care provider that includes the date for your second vaccine dose.
- If you cannot commit to coming to a second appointment for the second dose, Tribal Health cannot guarantee a second dose for you.
- Each patient will be asked at the time of their first dose appointment to verify that they will be able to make the second appointment.
- Please remember to bring this vaccination card with you to your second appointment.
What are the most common side effects?
- It is common to have some soreness at the site of vaccinations.
- In addition, people can also experience fever, chills, tiredness and headaches.
- These are often short lasting, a few days for most.
- Having these side effects does NOT mean that you have COVID-19.
If I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, can I get the COVID vaccine?
- ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and gynecologists) recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination.
- COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to breastfeeding individuals similar to other individuals when they meet criteria based on priority groups.
- If you have questions, talk with your primary care provider.
If I get the vaccine, can I get COVID from the vaccine itself?
- The vaccine is not a live virus, and does not affect a patient’s DNA.
- Your body develops an immune response to protect you from the coronavirus.
- You CANNOT get COVID from the vaccine.
- There are some instances where patients may inadvertently receive the vaccine while they are asymptomatic (positive COVID without symptoms).
If I get COVID, should I get the vaccine?
- We are still encouraging patients to get vaccinated after they have recovered or have been released from isolation.
- People do build immunity after illness, but we are not able to tell if that will prevent people from getting COVID again.
- The vaccine has a measured response or effectiveness that can be scientifically proven.
Can I get the flu vaccine at the same time?
- Current CDC guidance is to wait for 14-days before getting any other vaccines.
Will I still need to wear a mask when I receive the vaccine?
- The vaccines are effective 2 weeks after you have received the second dose.
- While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it is very important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic. Please continue to wear a mask over your mouth and nose, wash your hands often, and stay at least 6 feet away from others.
Below please find some educational resources to help you learn more: