HELENA – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana’s Care Van celebrated a big milestone Tuesday after giving out 10,000 vaccines since it began providing services in 2014.

The Care Van, which travels across the state to different Montana communities to provide vaccines, gave out its 10,000th inoculation at Bryant Elementary School where the van set up shop for the afternoon.

The lucky person to receive that vaccine was given a special gift basket filled with things like snacks, water bottles, tote bags and more.

The Care Van program is a partnership with Lewis and Clark County Public Health to provide free vaccines to the community.

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Jamey Petersen, Car Van Administrator with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, said currently the emphasis is on flu vaccines, but during other seasons the van administers different vaccines to anyone from young children to the elderly.

Petersen said it’s important to have the Care Van to provide healthcare for people in places where health services may not be readily available

“[Some people] often have to go 30 minutes, maybe an hour or maybe two hours just to see a basic health care provider,” Petersen said. “We work with public health nurses across the state to help get that preventative healthcare out to people.”

Petersen said her team is also looking at expanding the capabilities of the Care Van in the future to provide other medical services, like dental care.

The services are provided free of charge to the public and are funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana.