Sidney Herald: Montana COVID-19 vaccine allotment increases to 24,440

The Montana Department of Public Health is set to receive 24,440 first doses of the COVID vaccine next week, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced. As of Thursday morning, a total of 349,631 doses have been administered in Montana and 126,093 individuals are fully immunized.

These doses are specifically allocated to the state and do not include doses allocated to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Indian Health Services or other Federal Programs delivered directly to Montana.

“Getting vaccines into the arms of Montanans is my top priority, and this next shipment of doses will help get us even closer to fully reopening our economy and getting folks back to work,” Tester said. “With President Biden set to sign the COVID relief package into law, Montanans can expect vaccine availability to continue increasing in the weeks ahead, and I will continue working to hold the Administration accountable to ensure every Montanan who wants a vaccine can get one, free of charge.”

Last month, Tester demanded that the Biden Administration distribute a fair share of vaccines to Montana after it was revealed that the state was receiving one of the lowest per capita allocations of coronavirus vaccines in the country, despite the state’s strong record of efficiently distributing shots. Following his efforts, Montana received a significant increase in COVID-19 vaccines last week.

Tester fought tirelessly to secure $20 billion as a part of the COVID relief bill for vaccine production, procurement, and distribution that will help ensure every Montanan who wants a vaccine can receive one.

As Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester also secured $17 billion in the COVID-19 relief package for the Department of Veterans Affairs to vaccinate, support and protect veterans in Montana and across the country. Over the last month, he has announced vaccine distributions in multiple locations across Montana, with hundreds of vaccines expected to be administered to eligible veterans in other cities in the coming weeks.