COVID-19 Vaccination

Updated 11/9/21 at 9:00am


MODERNA/PFIZER BOOSTERS AND 3RD DOSES NOW AVAILABLE! 

PRIMARY SERIES IMMUNIZATION NOW AVAILABLE TO AGE 5+!

Click here to view full eligibility details (PDF download).  

COVID & Flu Vaccine Clinic at Great Falls College
Monday, November 15, 2021
10:00am to 4:00pm
2100 16th Ave S, Great Falls, MT 59405

COVID & Flu Vaccine Clinic at Holiday Village Mall
Friday, November 19, 2021
10:00am to 6:00pm
1200 10th Ave S, Great Falls, MT 59405

COVID & Flu Vaccine Clinic at Holiday Village Mall
Friday, December 10, 2021
10:00am to 4:00pm
1200 10th Ave S, Great Falls, MT 59405

For primary series doses and boosters, you will have your choice of Pfizer, Moderna, or Janssen/J&J. See the link above for complete eligibility details.

Most insurance is accepted for flu immunization, however we cannot take Humana or BCBS Medicare Advantage. Without insurance, flu vaccines are $40 (standard dose) or $80 (higher dose). COVID-19 immunizations are free of charge.

A parent or legal guardian must be present for immunization of anyone under the age of 18.

Can't make it to a vaccine clinic? Click here to schedule an appointment at CCHD. Additional appointment slots at CCHD are added weekly. Click here to view vaccine availability through other local providers.



Vaccine Eligibility

12+

All individuals age 12+


All individuals age 12+ are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Cascade County. No health conditions or serious illnesses are required for eligibility.

Parental consent is required for those under the age of 18.

Other options for vaccination:

Vaccination may also be available through:

  • Malmstrom Air Force Base or the VA
  • Indian Family Health Clinic
  • Pharmacies such as Osco (Albertsons), Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Sam's Club, Smith's, Public Drug, or Big Sky Managed Care
  • Other local healthcare providers such as Benefis, the Great Falls Clinic, or Alluvion Health

Check here for an updated list of locations offering vaccinations!

Vaccination FAQs


 

Has the Pfizer vaccine been approved for use in children?

 

Yes, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for emergency use for children age 5 and up.  


Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine? 

 

Vaccinations through the City-County Health Department are currently available to all Cascade County residents age 5+. For primary dose vaccination, there is no requirement that you have any adverse health conditions. Other requisites may apply for people wanting boosters and third doses (see the PDF linked above). Parental/guardian consent is required for minors.

 

Is there a cost for the vaccine?

 

There is no fee for the vaccine itself. If you are covered by health insurance, we may bill an administration fee to your insurer to cover some of the costs of providing the vaccination to you (payment of nursing staff, etc.). If you do not have health insurance, or if your insurer does not cover the administration fee, you will still receive your vaccination at no charge.  

 

Private pharmacies or health care providers may also charge a vaccine administration fee or a fee for the vaccine itself.

 

What should I bring with me to my appointment?

 

Please bring a government-issued photo ID (driver's license, passport, etc.) and your insurance card, if possible. 

 

Please do not use acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) prior to your appointment. You may take medication after your vaccination. 

 

How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine?

 

All three vaccines with EUA approval in the United States are highly effective, particularly at preventing severe symptoms or death. Approximate efficacy rates are provided below (rates vary slightly in different trials conducted at different times or sampling different populations). 



Prevention of mild or moderate symptomsPrevention of severe symptoms  (without hospitalization) or deathPrevention of severe symptoms  (with hospitalization) or death
Moderna94.1%100%100%
Pfizer-BioNTech95%Not reportedNot reported
Johnson & Johnson66%85%100%



What are the most common side effects of vaccination?

 

It is common to experience minor side effects after vaccination. The most common reported side effects are: 

 

  • swelling, redness, and pain at the injection site
  • fever
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • nausea

 

These are the same common side effects of a flu vaccine and many other vaccines. They usually resolve within a day or two, without any medical intervention.

 

A very small number of people have had an allergic reaction after vaccination, but this is extremely rare. If this occurs, epinephrine and other medications are kept ready to treat any reaction. You should be monitored for 15-30 minutes after your vaccination to ensure that any adverse reaction can be treated immediately.

 

Are there any long-term side effects?

 

Serious long-term side effects are very unlikely, and are extremely rare for any kind of vaccination. If any reactions will occur, they usually happen within 6 weeks after vaccination. In trials, the COVID-19 vaccines were studied for at least two months after vaccination, and now millions of people have been vaccinated for months without any long-term side effects being detected.

 

If I get a two-dose vaccine, how do I schedule my second shot?

 

When you get your first vaccination, you will be automatically scheduled for your second dose. You will be given a vaccination card with the date and time of your second appointment. 

 

Rescheduling a second dose can be difficult - please make sure you can be available for your second dose BEFORE you schedule your first appointment. If you receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, your second appointment will be 21 days after your first appointment. If you receive the Moderna vaccine, your second appointment will be 28 days after your first appointment.

 

After my first vaccine, can I get a second vaccine from a different manufacturer?

 

You should complete the primary series with the same manufacturer (first two doses). You may "mix-and-match" for booster doses.

 

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m not feeling well?

 

If you aren’t feeling well, it is recommended that you wait until you’re feeling better to get the vaccine.

 

How long will my COVID-19 immunity last after vaccination?

 

It is unknown at this time how long immunity will last; ongoing studies will help determine if repeat vaccination is needed, and if it is, how often we may need a booster.

 

Do I still need to get vaccinated if I already had COVID-19 and recovered?

 

There have been many documented cases of reinfection. However, reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection, and thus persons with documented acute infection in the preceding 90 days may defer vaccination until the end of this period, if desired. But you are not required to wait 90 days after recovery -- you may be vaccinated once you are released from isolation by your local health department. 

 

If I wear a mask and social distance, do I need the COVID-19 vaccine?

 

Yes. Although mask wearing and social distancing are important to limit exposure to COVID-19, the vaccine will help protect you from serious illness or death if you become infected.

 

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?

 

The CDC's current guidance is that it is very unlikely any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines would pose any specific risk to pregnant women. You can read more here. However, we recommend that you discuss vaccination with your physician beforehand. Also, the medical professional administering your vaccination may request to speak with your physician before giving you your vaccine, to confirm their recommendations - you may wish to get written confirmation from your physician to bring with you to your vaccination appointment to save time.

 

How do the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work?

 

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. mRNA vaccines contain instructions for our cells to make a certain protein that is also present on the surface of a coronavirus virion. This tricks our body into thinking it has been infected by a coronavirus, so it will start producing antibodies to fight off the perceived infection. Those antibodies stick around for some time, so if you actually get infected with coronavirus later you will be able to quickly fight off the infection before it has time to cause serious symptoms (or any at all). 

 

A common misconception is that an mRNA vaccine modifies your genetic code. This is not true. It is DNA in a cell's nucleus, not RNA outside the nucleus, that is copied during cell division and contains your actual genetic code. RNA simply instructs your cells to create proteins; it does not modify your DNA's genetic sequence.

 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, separated by 21 or 28 days, respectively. 

 

For more information from the FDA on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, click here. For more information from the FDA on the Moderna vaccine, click here.

 

How does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine work?

 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. It contains a modified virus that has the same surface protein present on coronavirus. This viral vector is modified so that it is incapable of replicating itself in your body, and it will not make you sick. However, your immune system recognizes the surface protein and begins creating antibodies that can fight off a future infection of an actual coronavirus. 

 

The mRNA vaccines described above contain an instruction for our own cells to create the surface protein, whereas the Johnson & Johnson vaccine instead contains other harmless virus particles that already have the same surface protein. 

 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.

 

For more information from the FDA on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, click here.

 

Can the vaccine cause COVID-19?

 

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines approved in the U.S. use the live virus that causes COVID-19. Any minor side effects you experience are a result of your body's immune response and not an actual infection. 

 



 

We will continue to provide knowledge, educational materials, and data on vaccination in the County. This will be done as we continue to monitor COVID-19 in the community, collect epidemiological data, provide COVID-19 testing, case investigation, contact tracing, and provide other services related to the pandemic.


If you have additional questions, please email us at [email protected].

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