Governor Gianforte Secures Montana’s Inclusion In Federal Vaccine Program
HELENA,MT (STL.News) Following conversations between Governor Gianforte and White House officials on Friday, the Biden administration today announced Missoula County has been selected to receive vaccines through the Federally Qualified Health Center COVID-19 vaccine program.
“I appreciate the Biden administration responding to my urgent request and including Missoula County in their federally-run vaccine program, after originally notifying DPHHS that the state would not be included in the initial phase,” Governor Gianforte said. “I’ll continue to work with our federal partners to ensure Montana receives our fair share of these safe, effective vaccines.”
After learning late last week that Montana had not been selected for the initial phase of the program, Governor Gianforte raised the issue with President Joe Biden. The governor reiterated his concerns in a Friday afternoon conversation with White House officials.
Senator Steve Daines joined Governor Gianforte in welcoming the announcement:
“The COVID-19 vaccine is critical to getting our lives back to normal. I’m glad to see Montana chosen as a hub for more vaccine doses and thankful for Governor Gianforte’s leadership in bringing more vaccines to our state,” Senator Steve Daines said. “I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure every Montanan who wants a vaccine, can get one.”
Despite the encouraging announcement, Montana continues to receive one of the lowest allotments of vaccine per capita in the country, according to recent CDC data, and Governor Gianforte will continue working to ensure the state gets its fair share of vaccines.
The Biden administration launched the Federally Qualified Health Center Program for COVID-19 Vaccination starting the week of February 15th. According to the White House, the first centers can start ordering doses this week, with other centers – including Missoula – eligible to place an order in the next two weeks.