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

Montana counties are preparing to administer COVID boosters to at-risk groups

Moderna COVID vaccine in a small bottle

Counties across Montana are gearing up to offer Moderna and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine boosters, after the shots got federal approval.

A handful of counties have announced on social media that they will start offering the booster shots. Among them are Missoula, Park and Yellowstone counties.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backed the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of the additional shots. The Pfizer booster was already approved.

The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson shots are available for people 65 and older, people 18 and older in long-term care settings and people 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions. People 18 to 49 years old with certain medical conditions and people 18 to 64 who work or live in settings that are considered high risk for contracting the disease can also get the booster.

As of Friday, the state’s health department reported 54 percent of eligible Montanans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Health officials say getting vaccinated is the best long-term solution to the pandemic.

Freddy Monares was a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio.
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