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Bozeman Health physician advises getting the COVID vaccine



Bozeman, Montana – The first COVID-19 instances in the US appeared more than three years ago, and the number of cases in Bozeman is constantly fluctuating. The Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center continues to promote vaccination.

Emma Peterson has spent the last eight years living in Bozeman intermittently, experiencing both the COVID outbreak and its aftereffects. She said she will get the new COVID vaccine after its approval on September 11th.

“For me, it’s kind of just the new normal as we go on through time and we get closer to animal populations, as we expand outward, we’re going to be exposed to more and more diseases. So this isn’t the first new vaccine we’re going to get,” says Peterson.

Gallatin County reported 1,794 COVID instances as of September 11; the state as a whole reported 14,175 cases. Just this week, three cases were reported in Butte.

Dr. Peter Bulger, an infectious disease specialist at Bozeman Health, says COVID is still a problem and that recent trends in the city have increased.

“We’ve been headed up for several weeks now, so it’s been kind of a gradual process over the last several weeks,” says Dr. Bulger. “There’s a number of factors involved. One of them is potentially waning immunity from people having had vaccines a long time ago. I know my last one was probably over a year ago, and new variants circulating that are better at evading.”

Dr. Bulger concurs with Dr. Peterson that it’s critical to acquire the most recent vaccination.

“I just think it’s worth still taking these things seriously,” says Dr. Bulger. “It’s good that we’re all kind of getting back to more normal lives, but, you know, still getting our vaccines is super important. Testing if you get sick, staying home, if you have it.”

Peterson considers COVID to be the new norm.

“It’s like any other virus, something like the flu,” says Peterson, “and with that, like you are at risk of getting it if you hang out in the general public.”

The hospital currently has enough space, according to Bozeman Health, to accommodate patients.

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