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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Gianforte: COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe And Effective

Governor-elect Greg Gianforte
U.S. House of Representatives
Greg Gianforte.

Gov. Greg Gianforte is continuing to encourage Montanans to get a COVID-19 vaccine. He spoke during a press conference in Helena Tuesday amid a surge of the delta variant driving new cases in the state.

“There couldn’t be a more important time to get vaccinated. The vaccines have been researched, they have been rigorously tested, they are safe and they work,” Gianforte said in the conference.

COVID-19 cases in Montana have shown exponential growth this summer. The state added 720 new cases Tuesday, one of the largest single-day increases this year. In recent weeks, health care officials have raised concerns about staffing shortages and hospital capacity.

Gianforte says Montana will not put in place a masking or COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Gianforte said he’s encouraged by trend lines in vaccine uptake.

“And there’s good news here in Montana. We recently reached a major milestone, with more than 50% of eligible Montanans now fully vaccinated from COVID-19.”

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, replacing the emergency use authorization granted at the end of 2020. That’s paved the way for private employers in the U.S. to require vaccines for their workers, but newly passed legislation prohibits vaccine requirements in Montana.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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