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Truck on the highway in Alberta, Canada. Photo: Adrian Greeman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Montana's government announced in statement Friday that it will be offering free COVID-19 vaccines to Canadian truck drivers from Alberta.

Why it matters: Starting Monday, about 2,000 Albertan truckers who regularly drive goods into the U.S. will be able to get vaccinated at a stop in Conrad, Montana, per a press release from the Alberta government.

The big picture: The program will last until May 23, and truckers will receive the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine, per the press release.

  • "About 800 commercial carriers cross the Alberta-Montana border at the Coutts Border Crossing each day," the statement notes.

Of note: Other border states are also helping Canadians who regularly come into the U.S.

  • North Dakota began vaccinating Canadian truckers from Manitoba in April, BBC reports.
  • Just last week Ontario's Premier Doug Ford approached Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) about the possibility of having some essential workers vaccinated stateside, per CBC.

What they're saying: “By working together and taking this critical action, we keep our trade channels open between Montana and Alberta.” Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) said in the statement.

  • "Alberta depends on trade with our American neighbours and this program will ensure our goods get to market while stopping the spike of COVID-19," said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Go deeper

May 10, 2021 - Health

BioNTech: "No evidence" that adapting vaccine to variants is necessary

A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at Gramps bar in Miami, Florida. Photo: Alicia Vera/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BioNTech said Monday there is currently "no evidence" to support the need to adapt the company's coronavirus vaccine, developed with Pfizer, to be more effective against emerging variants.

Why it matters: Some health experts fear that contagious new variants could be more resistant against COVID-19 vaccines, prolonging the pandemic for years to come.

May 10, 2021 - Sports

420 athletes take part in Olympics test event in Tokyo

American Justin Gatlin (2nd L) crosses the finish line to win the men's 100m final ahead of Japan's Yuki Koike (L) and Shuhei Tada (R)during the "Ready Steady Tokyo" Olympics test event, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour at the National Stadium, in Tokyo Sunday. Photo: Toru Hanai/Getty Images

American sprinter Justin Gatlin was among 420 athletes to participate in a Tokyo test event with pandemic precautions in place Sunday ahead of this summer's delayed Olympic Games.

The big picture: No spectators were present during the event at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium as the city remains under a COVID-19 state of emergency due to a spike in coronavirus cases.