Governor Greg Gianforte today announced he received federal approval to redirect 19,500 unused COVID-19 vaccine doses to vulnerable Montanans.
“Every dose Montana receives is critical, which is why I promised you in my first week in office that we wouldn’t let vaccines sit on shelves. Today, we’re following through on that promise,” Governor Gianforte said. “By working together, we can protect more Montanans and save more lives.”
The 19,500 doses identified by the state were originally provided to CVS and Walgreens under contract by the federal government to vaccinate residents and staff in long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities.
With the redirection of the unused doses, nearly 10,000 more Montanans in Phase 1B will be fully vaccinated.
Governor Gianforte announced that doses will be released to hospitals across Montana in the coming days. DPHHS will coordinate with local partners and hospitals to help set up community clinics to serve as many Montanans as possible.
As information becomes available about the time and place of these clinics, updates will be provided.
On January 19, Montana moved into Phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution plan to protect the most vulnerable. In Phase 1B, Montanans 70 years of age and older, 16 years of age and older with a high-risk underlying medical condition, and Native Americans and other persons of color who may be at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications are eligible to receive the vaccine.