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State planning for arrival of coronavirus vaccines


Dome Lights, Phil Drake
Published 10:11 a.m. MT Nov. 28, 2020


From the dome to your home. Ramblings, mutterings, keen observations and things you ought to know out of Helena from the mind of Phil Drake.

GIVE IT A SHOT: It was interesting to listen in a few days ago to a discussion of Gov. Steve Bullock’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Coordination Team.

The vaccines could arrive in the state as early as a couple weeks and they have a multi-phase plan for getting it out. Pfizer and Moderna both have drugs in the pipeline and could be ready to be shipped by mid-December. 

The plan, as I understand it, is to get it frontline health care and other health care workers first, then high-risk populations and eventually to members of the general public who want it.

According to various news reports, some of us will have to wait months to get it. What I found most interesting about the discussion was to learn that Montana has a “nice number” of health systems sites that can have ultra-cold storage and handle the vaccines.

That’s refreshing and good to know. Maybe that is where I should store my heart.

On another note, I got an email from Sen. Steve Daines’ office saying Montana will be getting its first shipment of Regeneron’s antibody therapeutic, casirivimab and imdevimab, which has received emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

Regeneron’s antibody cocktail is authorized for the treatment of non-hospitalized mild to moderate COVID-19 cases in adults and children 12 and older at high risk.

He said the state will receive 264 vials of the Regeneron casirivimab/imdevimab cocktail and its third shipment of Eli Lilly’s antibody therapy.

BRITISH IMPORT: I got a call from a lady from South Carolina on Friday, saying she had just heard from a friend in England about Colstrip in Montana.

She said the BBC had done a story on the coal-mining community and was curious about how the town voted in the recent election.

We called up the secretary of state’s website,, and I showed her how to check out the various races, not only by county, but by precinct.

I was not aware of the Colstrip story by the BBC, but have given it a quick read, it is very lengthy, and thought I’d offer this link:, in case you wanted to read it.

The story is called “A harsh reality in coal country — with or without Trump,” and is by Jessica Lussenhop.

WHERE’S MY BUDDY?: I got an email from Cherry Digital for American Addiction Centers, or, that says 60% of men polled in Montana admit to missing interacting with others and/or their drinking buddies as the pandemic continues.

The survey offers the percentage of men who say their mental health has suffered from not having their usual social contact due to the coronavirus outbreak. The survey found that 60% of men in North Dakota felt the same way. It was 29% in Idaho and 25% in Wyoming.

In South Dakota, it was 80%.


The survey says that 20% speak to their friends before their partner about their problems and 21% say Thanksgiving is the time of year they will miss socializing with friends the most.

The email was based on a survey of 2,445 American men that looked at how social distancing impacted men’s health since the start of the pandemic.

They said 23% of men polled said they would discuss relationship issues and a similar amount talked about family issues. However, it is work-related issues that men are most willing to get off their chest (46%). Since so many are working from home, they are unable to discuss issues with work colleague.

The Super Bowl was the toughest day for some of the men who were polled.

A few of my friends spent a lot of time with drinking buddies, socializing and away from families.

Now that I think about it, most of them are divorced.

Dome Lights appears Sunday, unless the villagers catch me. Email me at [email protected] or call 406-231-9021. I’m based in Helena. Mail me at P.O.Box 1601, Helena, MT 59624

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