HELENA — The Helena Indian Alliance realized they had extra doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. So they decided to donate those doses to Helena Public Schools.
"I have staff that are actually going to Deer Lodge to get their first vaccinations. I didn't qualify for that round,” says Lona Carter, the principal at Jefferson Elementary School. “So when I got the call that there was this opportunity, I was thrilled and was happy to run up."
20 Helena Public School employees expressed gratitude after receiving their first dose of the Moderna vaccine thanks to the Helena Indian Alliance Leo Pocha Memorial Clinic. The clinic announced that they had extra doses of the vaccine and decided to donate them to the education community. One high school teacher is happy to receive the vaccine before students go back in-person on March 15th, 2021.
"Going back to school full time with all the students, it makes it just that much easier as a teacher to interact with the students, even though we're a little distant,” says Timothy Belliveau, an English teacher at Helena High School. “It just makes it more comfortable."
It is not only Helena Public Schools receiving the vaccine. East Helena staff will also receive another 20 vaccines. Helena Public Schools say they worked to give the vaccine to those just under the age of 60 to receive the donation.
"I'm just thankful for the support and help. We are looking forward, moving through this, getting on the other side. I'm really looking forward to when everybody is in school and we can get back to normalcy," says Matthew Lyng, a Spanish Educator.
The Leo Pocha Clinic says they will host another vaccine clinic for educators the week of March 15th and will have more than 40 doses available.
Educators also qualify to receive COVID-19 vaccines through pharmacies that are a part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.