The Missoula City-County Health Department will open approximately 1,170 more first-dose COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine appointments today, March 3rd, at 1 p.m. sharp. I emphasize SHARP because the appointments go very quickly.

A couple of tips on logging in to try and claim appointments: don't log in early, just get to the website early and be ready to hit enter the second it turns 1 p.m. on your computer. When you get in, there will be a list of times to choose from for two different days of vaccinations, don't panic, know in advance when you will be available so you can choose an appropriate time. And finally, it will give you an opportunity to add two family members, all you need is their first and last names. There aren't any insurance questions or anything like that, just basic info, like name, address, phone number.

When you click this link, scroll down to the yellow line that says "PUBLIC CLINICS" and you'll see a log in for Missoula City County Health Department, that's the one you want. If you secure an appointment, they will email you a confirmation and then you and any family members you listed should show up at the time you requested. They will tell you what day to be at the former Lucky's location, either Thursday, March 4th or Friday, March 5th. You do not have to pay for anything, but you should bring a photo ID and a copy of your insurance card, whether it's private, Medicare, or Medicaid, and your 2nd appointment and dose will happen at the same place, at the same time, exactly 3 weeks later. You can also call (406) 258-4636 to book appointments.

Montana is currently in Phase 1b, tier 1. This includes everyone who is age 70 and older, and Native Americans & people of color who are age 16 and older, as they are at elevated risk for COVID-19. For more information, you can check out "My Experience in Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine in Missoula" here.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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