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COVID-19

Gianforte Gets First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte Thursday received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as all Montanans ages 16 and up became eligible under the state’s phased distribution plan.

Gianforte got his first Pfizer shot inside of a Helena Walgreens.

“I don’t get, like, a Winnie the Pooh band-aid?” Gianforte asks.

“You get the Walgreens W," the pharmacist replies.

Montana stepped into Phase 2 of its statewide vaccine distribution plan Thursday, though most tribes and some counties had already expanded eligibility. Outside the pharmacy, Gianforte encouraged Montanans to get a shot.

“This safe, effective vaccine is really our path to a better place and a normal life,” Gianforte says.

Some state leaders have gotten the shot early, saying they wanted to set an example for residents. Gianforte said he waited to get the vaccine because he didn’t want to jump in front of older and higher-risk residents, in accordance with Montana’s plan.

According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, nearly 200,000 Montanans are fully immunized to date. That’s about 19% of the state’s population.