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COVID-19 infections and deaths in Wisconsin continue to ebb as more residents get vaccinated, but the state may not reach herd immunity until fall — rather than this summer, a top state health leader told the Associated Press.
Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk earlier this spring said that Wisconsin could vaccinate 70% of its population — enough to effectively snuff out COVID-19 — by July. But slowing vaccination rates mean the state may not reach that threshold until September or October, Van Dijk told reporter Todd Richmond.
DHS on Monday reported that 40.9% of residents were fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, people with compromised immune systems may get less protection from the COVID-19 vaccine and continue to face risks from exposure to unvaccinated people, Guy Boulton of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Lisa Xiong, a staff member at The Hmong Institute, gets her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at Life Center in Madison, Wis. on March 9, 2021. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought,” she said after Laurel Losenegger, a volunteer nurse with the Benevolent Specialists Project, delivered the shot. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch
DHS official: Herd immunity may come this fall in Wisconsin — Associated Press
People with compromised immune systems face potential threat from people not vaccinated for COVID-19 — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
La Crosse bishop asks Father Altman to resign amid controversies — La Crosse Tribune
These are the text messages that get people to take vaccines — The Washington Post
Covid on the Run — The New York Times (The Morning newsletter)
What activities can unvaccinated children do? Advice from 828 experts. — The New York Times
Beloit College to require COVID-19 vaccines for students and employees this fall— Wisconsin State Journal
Packers no longer require masks at Lambeau Field, Titletown District spaces for fully vaccinated— Green Bay Press-Gazette
“I’ve talked with people who were 100% against (the COVID-19 vaccine), but after multiple conversations with me over time — just listening to them, letting them know, even if you don’t want to make a decision now, I’ll be here next week to talk about it as well — there were many people that ended up getting the vaccine after that approach.”
Dr. Jasmine Zapata, Wisconsin’s newly named chief medical officer and state epidemiologist, speaking to WPR
Data to Note
Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Monday that 46.8% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 82.8% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 40.9% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 78.5% 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.
On Monday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 330 new daily infections amid a long-term downward trend in new cases. The state also reported one new COVID-19 death, bringing the full toll to 6,990.
Meanwhile, the state is averaging about 60 hospitalizations over the past week — a number that has stayed relatively flat in recent weeks, as this chart from WisContext shows.
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.
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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Wisconsin health official: Vaccine slowdown means delayed herd immunity — 5/24/21 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.