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Today we highlight a Cap Times story about a major hurdle to thwarting the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin and nationwide: vaccine skepticism.
“Public health officials, from top U.S. infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci to local health departments and medical groups, say the vaccines have undergone rigorous clinical trials that prove that they’re safe and effective,” Steven Elbow reports. “Despite the scourge that has killed 400,000 Americans and infected more than 24 million, there are many who want no part of a vaccine that offers a possible path to normality, or are holding out until they can be convinced it’s safe.”
Nearly 40% of Americans say they won’t take the vaccine or haven’t yet decided, Elbow reports, adding that community groups, medical organizations and advocates are stepping up to confront skepticism while state and national leaders lack a comprehensive strategy.
New health official isn’t saying whether she will avoid conflicts with former lobbying clients — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Some private nursing homes aren’t requiring worker vaccinations — Janesville Gazette
Data to note
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers this snapshot of the state’s progress on vaccinations, last updated Tuesday.
WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections, deaths and hospitalizations.
DHS on Wednesday reported a seven-day average of 45 new daily COVID-19 deaths. The state’s full COVID-19 death toll is 5,562.
Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed.
Calculate your exposure risk
In Wisconsin, even small gatherings can carry a big risk of exposure to the coronavirus, according to a nationwide tool that estimates the danger by the size of gathering and county in which it is held. Data scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University developed the tool, which you can find here.
People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Their eyes were twinkling’: Appleton students return to classrooms for the first time since March — Appleton Post-Crescent
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