Jon Tester

02/16/2021 | Press release | Archived content

Tester to Biden Administration: Montana Needs Fair Share of Vaccines

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sent a letter to the Biden Administration, pushing for answers about why Montana is receiving low per capita allocations of the COVID-19 vaccinations and urging them to provide additional doses so that Montanans can get immunized.

'Montana is receiving one of the lowest per capita allocations of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the country,' wrote Tester. 'I am concerned that Montana is not receiving its fair share despite the state's strong record of efficiently distributing shots. I urge you to swiftly provide additional vaccines to Montana to ensure public health officials can get folks vaccinated.'

Tester continued: 'Since receiving the first shipments in December, Montana has been one of the highest performing states as far as doses administered per 100,000 population. In fact, I am consistently told that if the state received more vaccines, there would be capacity to administer it successfully...I would respectfully request that you provide an explanation on how vaccine allocation calculations are determined as soon as possible. Montanans - especially our hardworking public health officers - need answers.'

Tester fought tirelessly to secure $11 billion as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, including $156 million for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to accelerate research and development of treatment and vaccines, and to secure additional funding of $4.5 billion for vaccine distribution and administration in the December COVID relief package.

As the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, he also secured $19.6 billion to strengthen VA's response to the outbreak and is working to include additional funding in the COVID-19 relief package to protect veterans and staff. Over the last month, he has announced vaccine distributions in multiple locations across Montana, with hundreds of vaccines expected to be administered to eligible veterans in other cities in the coming weeks.

Read the full letter HERE.