More Montanans soon eligible for coronavirus vaccines | 406 Politics

More Montanans soon eligible for coronavirus vaccines |  406 Politics

HELENA – Montana does more people eligible to receive coronavirus vaccines starting next week, Governor Greg Gianforte said on Tuesday.

Starting March 8, all Montanais between the ages of 60 and 70 will be eligible, as well as those aged 16 and older with the additional pre-existing conditions of asthma, cystic fibrosis and liver disease, Gianforte said.

Major General Matt Quinn, director of the state’s COVID-19 task force, said next Monday’s change would make 100,000 to 140,000 more Montanais eligible for the vaccine.

Making vaccines available to frontline healthcare workers, everyone aged 60 and over, people over 16 with pre-existing conditions, Native Americans and other people of color will prioritize groups who account for nearly 90% of deaths in Montana from the pandemic, says Gianforte.

Eligible groups also include more more than 70% of those who have been hospitalized, he said.

Some large counties may take longer to offer vaccines to residents aged 60 to 70 and those with additional pre-existing conditions depending on the number of already eligible people who have been vaccinated, said Bekki Kirsch Wehner, chief of the office of the Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Office within the state health department.

Montana is still expected to enter Phase 1C of vaccine distribution in the spring or early summer, Gianforte said. This phase will include essential frontline workers such as teachers, first responders and grocery store staff, as well as those…

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