Wisconsin counties face COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy — 5/10/21

Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Wisconsin has sharply cut back its request for COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government, the Associated Press reports, as some counties here experience high rates of vaccine hesitancy. In Clark County, where the vaccination rate is among the lowest in Wisconsin, the head of immunization says making vaccines more convenient and providing more information to the skeptical may not lead to higher rates. Currently, just 25% of the county’s residents have gotten one dose, compared to 44.4% statewide. Wisconsin officials are hoping that the 21% of the state’s population who are children will soon be eligible for vaccines, boosting the proportion of residents protected from COVID-19.

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Vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are seen during a free vaccination clinic on March, 9, 2021, run by The Hmong Institute at Life Center in Madison, Wis. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

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“Vaccine-hesitant folks may not accept the vaccine, no matter what information we provide or how convenient the vaccine service is made. At some point, we will have vaccinated everyone who wants the vaccine. I think we may be at that point in Clark County.”

Kelsey Wussow, Clark County’s immunization program coordinator, speaking to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. Clark County has the lowest vaccination rate in Wisconsin.

Data to note

Click on the image above to see Wisconsin DHS COVID-19 vaccine data, which is updated daily.

Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Monday that 44.4% of Wisconsinites have received at least once vaccine dose, including 81.5% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 37.4% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 76.7% of those older than 65. Racial disparities persist in distributing vaccines. The shares of Black, Hispanic and Native American residents to receive a dose remain below that of white residents. 

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks indoors and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed — particularly as more contagious virus variants spread. On Monday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 532 new daily infections. The state also reported no new COVID-19 deaths, leaving the full toll at 6,904. 

WisContext offers this visualization:

Find a vaccine site near you

DHS and the federal government have partnered with Vaccine Finder to help Wisconsinites find vaccinations. Vaccinations are often by appointment, but providers are increasingly offering walk-in options. In addition, people seeking COVID-19 shots can text their ZIP code to 438829 to find nearby vaccine providers.  

COVID-19 fact-checking

Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? FactCheck.org offers this page full of explainers — and debunking of common distortions — about the disease to help you sort out fact from fiction. 

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UW-Madison commencement returns thousands of graduates to Camp Randall Stadium — Wisconsin State Journal

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Wisconsin counties face COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy — 5/10/21 is a post from WisconsinWatch.org, a non-profit investigative news site covering Wisconsin since 2009. Please consider making a contribution to support our journalism.

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