Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 3/17/21
COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Montanans beginning April 1, announced Gov. Greg Gianforte at a March 16 press conference. He said although initial projections estimated a timeline of July, he is excited to be able to move that timeline up for all Montana residents 16 and older. He added that Montanans doing their part to get the vaccine will help justify removing the state of emergency and reenter normalcy. Currently, Montana is in Phase 1B+ of vaccine distribution, which includes those 60 years of age and older and those 16 to 59 years of age with additional qualifying medical conditions like asthma, cystic fibrosis and liver disease. According to a press release from the governor’s office, Montana’s Phase 1B+ population accounts for nearly 90 percent of deaths and more than 70 percent of hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Montana. As of March 17, 374,379 doses have been administered in Montana, with more than 144,952 Montanans fully immunized.