Just last Monday (3/8), Governor Gianforte announced COVID-19 vaccination phase 1B plus, covering a population that "accounts for nearly 90 percent of Montana's total deaths and more than 70 percent of Montana's hospitalizations from COVID-19."

In a press conference today, Montana's Governor touted the success of the state's vaccination program, and added that "we owe our healthcare workers and volunteers a debt of gratitude for their work over the last 3 months to administer these safe and effective vaccines."

Over 367,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered as of today (Tuesday 3/16), and more than 140,00 Montanans have been fully immunized, according to the press release.

"Our approach is working," said Governor Gianforte.

42 counties have active COVID-19 cases in the single digits. Of those, 15 counties have no cases as of the time of the Governor's press conference on Tuesday (3/16). Currently, there are 878 active cases in Montana; the last time Montana had fewer than 900 cases was July 13, 2020, according to Governor Gianforte.

For the first time in a long time, the most vulnerable among us feel they can return to a sense of normalcy. And slowly but surely, we are all returning to normalcy. Before we can fully return to normal however, it's critical that COVID-19 vaccines are available to every Montanan who wants one. -Governor Greg Gianforte

A few months ago, it was estimated that it would be as late as July before Montanans aged 16 and over would be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. But today, Governor Gianforte said he was "pleased" to announce that it will be April 1 that all residents 16 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

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Gianforte said they will be working with local pharmacy partners to help tap into the state's supply of vaccines.

"I look forward to getting the vaccine when my name is called," said Governor Gianforte. And then said he encourages "all Montanans to do the same." Getting the "safe and effective vaccine" will help us get back to normal sooner, and without masks.

As more Montanans get the vaccine, we will continue to approach the time when we're no longer in a state of emergency, and we can remove our masks, and throw them in the trash. -Governor Greg Gianforte

CLICK HERE to get more information about vaccine availability and scheduling in your area of Montana.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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