Missoula County to be included in federal COVID-19 vaccine program

COVID vaccine Ravalli
Posted at 5:05 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 11:07:40-05

HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte announced on Tuesday that following conversations with White House officials on Friday, the Biden administration has selected Missoula County 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,” Gov. Gianforte said. “I’ll continue to work with our federal partners to ensure Montana receives our fair share of these safe, effective vaccines.”

Gov. Gianforte initially raised the issue with President Joe Biden last week after learning that Montana had not been selected for the initial phase of the program, according to a news release.

“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,” Sen. Daines said. “I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure every Montanan who wants a vaccine, can get one.”

The news release further states that Montana continues to receive one of the lowest allotments of vaccine per capita in the country, according to recent CDC data and Gov. Gianforte will continue working to get the state additional vaccines.

The Biden administration launched the Federally Qualified Health Center Program for COVID-19 Vaccination starting the week of Feb. 15. 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.