Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccination progress slows

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – At the same time Wisconsin is seeing fewer coronavirus cases and deaths, and the emergence of a serious new variant, fewer people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

The 7-day average of newly confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus fell to double digits on Wednesday. The state says it’s seeing an average 90 positive tests per day — down from 104 on Tuesday and 112 on Monday. The 7-day average for the positivity rate fell back to 1.1% of all tests coming back positive after edging up to 1.2% on Tuesday. That’s a result of fewer people being tested for the virus. By our calculations, the state received just 326 test results Wednesday and 231 on Tuesday.

The daily average for deaths in Wisconsin rose back up to 2 on Wednesday, a day after that average reached 1. The DHS says 4 of these deaths occurred in the past 30 days, and those are the only deaths counted in the rolling, 7-day average. The COVID-19 death toll went up by 18 to 7,230, counting lives lost before that 30-day period that were just reported to the state. Counties reporting deaths included Brown, Dodge, Fond du Lac (2) and Outagamie. The death toll is 1.18% of all known coronavirus cases.

Hospitalizations since Tuesday morning fell to a new low. State figures show just 11 more people were hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment in the past 24-hour period. That ties for the lowest one-day total of hospital admissions since we started keeping track in April last year. The last day with 11 hospital admissions was June 28, 2020.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association reports there were 124 COVID-19 patients statewide, with 45 of them in intensive care — 9 fewer patients overall, but 6 more are in ICU than Tuesday. Hospitals in the Northeast emergency readiness region had 14 COVID-19 patients, including 7 in ICU — that’s 1 more person in ICU but 1 fewer patient overall. Fox Valley hospitals were treating 3 COVID-19 patients — 1 more than the day before — with none in ICU.

For a second day in a row, Wisconsin reports 49.2% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine. Data from the state Department of Health Services (DHS) show more than 4,200 people received a dose since Tuesday’s report, but that wasn’t enough to “move the needle” on the percentage of the population.

Recently the percentage of Wisconsinites getting vaccinated was creeping up by one-tenth of a percent each day. Progress has been slowing for weeks. Last week saw an increase in the number of doses administered — the first week-to-week increase since early April. But in the first three days of this week, vaccinators reported fewer than 15,000 doses of vaccine administered. We’re still on pace for half of Wisconsinites to be vaccinated by the end of June. Nationally, the CDC reported last week that 52% of Americans received at least one vaccine dose and 42% were fully vaccinated.

Wisconsin exceeds that national average for population that’s fully vaccinated. That percentage rose three-tenths of a percent since Tuesday to 44.6%. That’s almost 2.6 million Wisconsinites. A table of county vaccination rates appears later in this article.

Vaccinators are making an effort to reach minorities and under-served communities. The DHS recently launched a website highlighting the “unjust and disproportionate impact of COVID-19″ on different ethnic groups, the varied reasons for that, and the state health agency’s effort to address those inequities. CLICK HERE for more information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates Latinos, Blacks and Native Americans are 2 to 3 times more likely than white people to die of the disease (see related story), and the Associated Press reports Latinos are dying at much younger ages from the disease than other groups. In Wisconsin, about half as many Blacks are fully vaccinated as whites, based on their population numbers. Hispanics and American Indians also lag far behind. Only Asians are getting vaccinated at a rate comparable to white Wisconsinites.

Vaccinations by race and ethnicity* (and increase since Tuesday’s report)

  • American Indian: 32.1% received a dose (+0.1)/27.1% completed (+0.2)
  • Asian: 47.5% received a dose (+0.1)/40.5% completed (+0.3)
  • Black: 25.4% received a dose (+0.0)/21.5% completed (+0.1)
  • White: 45.8% received a dose (+0.1)/41.9% completed (+0.2)
    • Hispanic: 34.4% received a dose (+0.1)/28.8% completed (+0.2)
    • Non-Hispanic: 47.3% received a dose (+0.1)/43.1% completed (+0.2)

* 6.4% of records reported race “Unknown” and 5.8% of records did not report ethnicity

Wednesday, the Department of Health Services announced it’s identified 26 cases of the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus in Wisconsin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the delta variant, which originated in India, already accounts for 9.7% of coronavirus infections in the U.S. compared to 2.7% of all cases in May (see related story). The CDC says that variant concerns it the most right now because it’s highly contagious and causing serious illness in younger age groups that had more resilience with the original COVID-19 virus. The Wisconsin DHS says it will update results on Thursday of genetic testing of COVID-19 cases in the state, including the delta variant.

This week on Action 2 News at 4:30, Prevea Health president/CEO Dr. Ashok Rai urged children and adults under 40 to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 during the summer because of the spread of the delta variant. He said people who are at least two weeks past getting fully vaccinated showed resistance, but one shot of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine did not provide enough protection. (Watch his full interview here.)

Vaccinations by age group (and increase since Tuesday’s report)

  • 12-15: 24.8% received a dose (+0.3)/14.4% completed (+0.9)
  • 16-17: 34.9% received a dose (+0.1)/28.4% completed (+0.3)
  • 18-24: 40.1% received a dose (+0.1)/34.1% completed (+0.2)
  • 25-34: 45.6% received a dose (+0.0)/40.1% completed (+0.1)
  • 35-44: 53.9% received a dose (+0.1)/48.5% completed (+0.2)
  • 45-54: 55.8% received a dose (+0.1)/50.6% completed (+0.1)
  • 55-64: 66.4% received a dose (+0.0)/61.3% completed (+0.1)
  • 65+: 84.0% received a dose (+0.1)/80.4% completed (+0.1)

VACCINATIONS BY COUNTY POPULATION WEDNESDAY

County (Population) (Health region) % of population (change from previous report) Completed % of population (change from previous report)
Brown (264,542) (NE) 48.9% (+0.1) 45.1% (+0.2)
Calumet (50,089) (FV) 44.0% (+0.1) 40.0% (+0.1)
Dodge (87,839) 39.4% (+0.0) 36.2% (+0.1)
Door (27,668) (NE) 64.9% (+0.1) 61.1% (+0.1)
Fond du Lac (103,403) (SE) 42.1% (+0.1) 38.2% (+0.2)
Forest (9,004) 41.1% (+0.0) 39.0% (+0.0)
Florence (4,295) (NE) 42.5% (+0.0) 40.1% (+0.0)
Green Lake (18,913) (FV) 42.7% (+0.1) 39.6% (+0.2)
Kewaunee (20,434) (NE) 40.2% (+0.0) 38.3% (+0.1)
Manitowoc (78,981) (NE) 46.2% (+0.1) 42.9% (+0.1)
Marinette (40,350) (NE) 40.5% (+0.1) 37.5% (+0.1)
Menominee (4,556) (FV) 50.6% (+0.0) 45.7% (+0.0)
Oconto (37,930) (NE) 40.9% (+0.0) 38.7% (+0.1)
Outagamie (187,885) (FV) 48.3% (+0.1) 43.6% (+0.2)
Shawano (40,899) (FV) 35.8% (+0.0) 33.3% (+0.1)
Sheboygan (115,340) (SE) 47.6% (+0.1) 43.5% (+0.2)
Waupaca (50,990) (FV) 41.3% (+0.1) 37.8% (+0.1)
Waushara (24,443) (FV) 33.8% (+0.0) 31.9% (+0.1)
Winnebago (171,907) (FV) 46.7% (+0.1) 42.4% (+0.2)
NORTHEAST REGION (474,200) (NE) 225,604 (47.6%) (+0.1) 209,306 (44.1%) (+0.1)
FOX VALLEY REGION (549,682) (FV) 247,347 (45.0%) (+0.1) 225,099 (41.0%) (+0.2)
WISCONSIN (5,822,434) 2,866,668 (49.2%) (+0.0) 2,588,733 (44.5%) (+0.3)

State health officials are promoting the CDC’s Vaccine Finder website to make it easier to find and schedule appointments near you. You can also CLICK HERE for the First Alert Vaccine Team’s guide to vaccine clinics and vaccinators, including phone numbers and websites to make appointments and information on free rides to appointments.

WEDNESDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS (counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold) **

  • Brown – 31,918 cases (+2) (250 deaths) (+1)
  • Calumet – 5,841 cases (+2) (51 deaths)
  • Dickinson (Mich.) – 2,409 cases (+1) (59 deaths)
  • Dodge – 11,994 cases (+1) (174 deaths) (+1)
  • Door – 2,631 cases (24 deaths)
  • Florence – 452 cases (13 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 12,600 cases (cases revised -1 by state) (124 deaths) (+2)
  • Forest – 965 cases (23 deaths)
  • Gogebic (Mich.) – 1,043 cases (23 deaths)
  • Green Lake – 1,614 cases (19 deaths)
  • Iron (Mich.) – 983 cases (43 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 2,372 cases (27 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 7,652 cases (72 deaths)
  • Marinette – 4,234 cases (67 deaths)
  • Menominee (Mich.) – 1,795 cases (41 deaths)
  • Menominee – 804 cases (cases revised -1 by state) (11 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,531 cases (+2) (59 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 20,837 cases (+0) (222 deaths) (+1)
  • Shawano – 4,748 cases (+2) (73 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 13,873 cases (147 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 4,952 cases (123 deaths)
  • Waushara – 2,214 cases (35 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 18,354 cases (cases revised -2 by state) (200 deaths)

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Wisconsin Hospital Association no longer report updates on weekends. The Michigan Department of Health does not report on Sundays.

** Cases and deaths are from state COVID-19 reports, which may differ from local health department numbers. The DHS reports cases from all health departments within a county’s boundaries, including tribal, municipal and county health departments; county websites may not. Also, public health departments update their data at various times, whereas the DHS freezes the numbers it receives by the same time every day to compile the afternoon report.

Copyright 2021 WBAY. All rights reserved.


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