Gallatin County seniors concerned over age cutoff in phase 1B

Posted at 8:16 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 14:31:47-05

GALLATIN COUNTY — We know Covid-19 affects older people differently. Governor Gianforte has listed residents 70 and older in the 1B Phase. But some are saying 70 doesn’t include all seniors.

“For senior citizens, this is lethal. Senior citizens die from this. We fear Covid-19,” said Gallatin County resident Dean Peterson.

This Gallatin County resident says he understands why certain groups were given the vaccine first. But what he can’t understand is why the age cutoff for 1B is 70 years old.

“Montana has decided to draw the line at age 70, where there’s still a highly vulnerable group from the age 60 to 69 that have not been include in Phase 1B because they are very likely to come down with Covid-19 and if they do come down with Covid-19 they have a very high likelihood of dying,” Peterson explained.

Peterson is 69 years old, but because of health issues, he does qualify for the 1B phase. He says he’s not expressing his concerns for himself. He’s looking out for all seniors.

“I’m speaking because I care. You know, I’m a humanitarian and I think that we really need to focus on the older people. A little self serving, you know I am a senior citizen, so I’m looking out for senior citizens. But I truly feel they are the most vulnerable,” he said.

And for those who think vaccinating seniors would be a waste since they are already older, Peterson says where’s the respect?

“In our society, the seniors have become the throw-away part of our society. You feel like you’re not appreciated. You feel like society just doesn’t understand what it was like when we were growing up and what we had to go through to get where we are now,” he said.

Gallatin County’s vaccine distribution coincides with where the state is at and both are currently in Phase 1B.