Nurses at the health department provide immunizations for people of all ages; assess records for families, schools and day cares for immunization status; and educate the public about the importance of immunizations in preventing disease.
The public health department holds walk-in immunization clinics on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 AM to 4:30 PM at 1930 Ninth Avenue, Helena. No appointment is necessary. Immunizations are provided on a sliding-fee scale for those who qualify, and we bill all insurance providers, except for some travel vaccines.
During flu season, the public health department offers flu shot clinics in publicized locations around the community.
Please bring your children's vaccination records with you to the public health department when you come in for back-to-school shots. Your health-care provider can fax a copy to our Immunization Program at 406-457-8997.
New Fall 2015 Requirements
- All grades (K-12): Two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine after age 1 year (or a form from your medical provider confirming immunity)
- Grades 7-12: Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) booster. The Td vaccine, which lacks the pertussis (or whooping cough) component will no longer be adequate.
- Required: booster doses of Dtap (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), varicella (chickenpox)
- Recommended: “catch-up” vaccinations: hepatitis A if not already given at age 1 year.
- Required: Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and second varicella (chickenpox) vaccination
- Recommended: "catch-up" and adolescent vaccines, including hepatitis A, meningococcal, and HPV (human papillomavirus).
Vaccines for Children
The federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program offers vaccines at no cost for children under the age of 19 who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- The child is eligible for Medicaid;
- The child has no health insurance coverage;
- The child is American Indian (as defined by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act); or
- The child has private health insurance that doesn’t cover vaccines, covers only selected vaccines, or caps vaccine coverage at a certain amount.
Children whose health insurance covers the cost of immunizations aren’t eligible for VFC vaccine, even if coverage isn’t available because a deductible hasn’t been met.
VFC vaccines can be administered by any enrolled program provider. There is usually a fee for the administration of each dose. Ask your child’s health-care provider for more information or contact an immunization nurse at the public health department, 457-8900.
Children under 19 who have no insurance may also be eligible for low- or no-cost insurance through the Healthy Montana Kids Program. For more information, call toll-free 1-877-543-7669 or visit www.hmk.mt.gov.
Paying for Immunizations
All Health Insurance Marketplace plans and most other private insurance plans must cover common vaccines without charging a copayment or coinsurance when vaccinations are given by an in-network provider. This is true even for patients who have not met a yearly deductible. Doses, recommended ages, and recommended populations for these vaccines vary. Learn more about paying for immunizations on the CDC website or call the Immunization Program at 406-457-8900.