It's been no secret that Montana has been one of the worst spots in the country for COVID over the last few months. The state has consistently been reporting its highest numbers ever on a daily basis, and there are countless stories about hospitals being full, overworked, and understaffed. (You can read this intense story here, about a Montana man who couldn't get admitted to a hospital in the state - they had to go all the way to Wyoming.)

The Missoulian recently ran a piece about Governor Gianforte defending the state's COVID policies, and in it they mention an interesting, upsetting stat - at the current rate things are going, Montana is set to see more citizens die of COVID this year than it did last year. That's despite the fact that the vaccine has widely been available in Montana for most of this year, when last year we didn't have one.

A big part of that is Montana having a lower vaccination rate than most of the country, with just about 49% of Montanans being fully vaccinated. The combination of low vaccination rates plus an aging population and poor health among rural residents has been a big factor in the increase of COVID-related deaths.

So far, 1,024 people in Montana have died in 2021 from COVID - there were just over 1150 in 2020. At its current pace, Montana will easily eclipse that number by the end of the year.

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.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

LOOK: 30 fascinating facts about sleep in the animal kingdom



More From 96.9 Zoo FM