I'm hesitant to write this article because even now, nearly two years into the pandemic, the topic of COVID remains divisive for many Montanans. Our vaccination rate has slowly crept to 55% for the state with 1,144,083 doses administered and 511,242 residents fully vaccinated. County-by-county, the percentages of eligible vaccinated population swings from a low of 27% in Garfield County, to a high of 67% in Missoula County.

Olena Hololobova

The government has paid over a billion dollars in COVID burial fees.

You may not know this, but the federal government is helping pay for funeral expenses for those who have succumbed to the illness. To date, FEMA has paid over $1.146 billion to more than 174,000 families of the deceased to help with burial arrangements. In Montana, 534 applications for the funds have been received and 276 have been paid a total of $1,446,249. That averages to $5,240 each. If you've lost a family member to COVID you can find more about the Funeral Assistance program HERE.

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This story isn't about "the jab" or if you should or shouldn't get it.

At this point, it feels like most people have either gotten the shot already or aren't going to. You probably aren't going to change anyone's opinion regarding the vaccine (pro or con) and arguing about it on social media only ends up making everyone angry. I'm not going to sever friendships over it and I encourage you to take the same attitude. I felt that getting the vaccine was the right thing to do for me and my family. HOWEVER, I do have issues when it becomes something the government forces me to do, and I know many of you feel the same way. Either way... stay healthy, Montana.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.