Today, Governor Gianforte held a press conference announcing that educators and other front-line workers have been moved to the back of the line for COVID vaccinations. For nine months now, educators and front-line workers across the state have been doing everything possible to keep our schools open and our economy moving. These Montanans have risked their own person health, and some have even died.
Governor Gianforte outlined during his press conference that Montana will have only 1/3 of the doses needed to vaccinate everyone in line ahead of educators and front-line workers, leaving essential workers waiting for doses that will not reach Montana for months. That’s not good enough to keep schools open and government running.
Governor Gianforte also promised to lift the mask mandate, the number one protection currently keeping Montanans safe at work.
Today’s decision to delay the ability of teachers, school employees, and other front-line workers to receive vaccines is unfortunate and a slug in the gut to thousands of heroic Montanans. The threat to lift Montana’s mask mandate coupled with the decision to delay vaccinations for educators and front-line workers undermines and delays efforts in nearly every Montana community to keep schools open and our economy moving forward. The math doesn’t add up, the timeline is flawed, and the policy is misguided.
MFPE will continue to advocate that those asked to risk their well-being every day be vaccinated as soon as possible and that all Montanans mask up to protect themselves and their neighbors.