Montana to share vaccines with truck drivers from Alberta

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana will share COVID-19 vaccines with Canadian truck drivers from neighboring Alberta, Gov. Greg Gianforte, R-MT, and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday.

About 2000 truck drivers from Alberta who transport goods from Canada to the U.S. will be eligible to be vaccinated at a highway rest stop near Conrad between May 10 and May 23, according to a memorandum of understanding signed between the state and the Canadian province.

“By working together and taking this critical action, we keep our trade channels open between Montana and Alberta,” Gianforte said in a statement.

The border between Canada and the U.S. has been closed to all but essential traffic since last spring.

“Alberta depends on trade with our American neighbors and this program will ensure our goods get to market while stopping the spike of COVID-19,” Kenney said in a statement. The province has reported record numbers of new COVID-19 cases this month.

A similar program to vaccinate truck drivers from Canada began in North Dakota last month.

The announcement came after the Blackfeet tribe in northern Montana gave last month around 1,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to their relatives and neighbors across the border.