State Officials Target COVID-19 Delta Variant
New tool offers better tracking of vaccinations rates. ‘This variant is less forgiving.’
Wisconsin residents can now find out COVID-19 vaccination rates not only at the state and county level but their school district, census tract, zip code and municipality.
State health officials say the new tool will tell them where to focus their vaccination efforts as the state’s percentage of new cases caused by the Delta variant has doubled in the past few weeks.
In 2017, state health officials published school immunization data online so people could see how their community compared to others for recommended shots protecting against measles, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis B, varicella, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. The move came after Minnesota saw its largest measles outbreak in nearly 30 years.
While the current 7-day average for new COVID-19 cases continues to decline — at 91 cases as of Friday — health officials say that number is still too high and urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Studies have shown the current vaccines are effective against the Delta variant and while Pfizer-BioNTech will seek authorization from federal health officials for a booster shot, neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it’s needed at this time.
Still, state officials urged people not to become complacent.
Currently, about 5,000 to 6,000 people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 daily in Wisconsin. That’s far lower than it was initially in part because 62 percent of people in Wisconsin age 18 and older have already had at least one shot.
Willems Van Dijk called it “great news” that most Wisconsin counties had medium or low disease levels but cautioned what happened in India could happen here. In southwest Missouri, a surge in new COVID-19 cases is overwhelming hospitals.
DHS On COVID-19 Delta Strain: ‘This Variant Is Less Forgiving’ was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
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