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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.
We’re not gonna take it: The COVID-19 vaccine is here, along with efforts to overcome skepticism — Cap Times
Biden is ‘inheriting a disaster’ as coronavirus continues to grip nation amid chaotic vaccine rollout — The Washington Post
Amazon offers to help Biden administration with vaccinations — The Verge
With NFC championship in sight, Brown County health officials sound alarm about COVID-19 fatigue among Packers fans — Green Bay-Press-Gazette
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
Local families of COVID victims reflect while the nation pauses to remember 400K dead — TMJ4 News
Gov. Evers officially issues new mask mandate — WAOW
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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.
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‘Their eyes were twinkling’: Appleton students return to classrooms for the first time since March — Appleton Post-Crescent
Wisconsin home sales hit record in 2020 despite pandemic — WPR
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