Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Less Than 50% of School Age Children Vaccinated for COVID-19

Local public health official urges vaccination ahead of school year.

By - Aug 12th, 2022 06:08 pm
COVID-19 vaccine. Pixabay License Free for commercial use No attribution required

COVID-19 vaccine. (Pixabay License).

With the school year beginning shortly for many families, Dr. Ben Weston, chief health policy advisor for Milwaukee County, is urging families to vaccinate their children against COVID-19.

“As we quickly approach back to school, well under 50% of school age kids are vaccinated against COVID,” Weston said in an email. “Now is the time to visit your local health department, pharmacy, or health care provider and get your child vaccinated and as protected as possible before returning to school.”

In Milwaukee County, approximately 30% of children five to 11 years old have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. For children between the ages of 12 and 17, just more than 60% have been completely vaccinated. Children between five and 11 years old became eligible for the vaccine in early November 2021.

Meanwhile, the vaccination rate among all county residents has not risen much in recent months. The latest data from a countywide vaccination report, shows that as of Aug. 8 60.9% of all county residents have completed a vaccine series. A week prior it as 60.8%.

This past spring, the level of COVID-19 in the community rose and has held relatively at that elevated level since then. The latest weekly report produced by epidemiologists, public health officials and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee shows there were 1,234 new cases of COVID-19 in the county this past week, Aug. 3-9. The week prior there were 1,395 new cases of COVID-19.

There were 157 adults hospitalized with COVID-19 this past week, just higher than the 159 hospitalizations the week prior; 17 children were hospitalized due to COVID-19 this past wee. There were two deaths due to COVID-19 reported this past week.

The positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19 went down slightly to 15.4% this past week compared to 16.4% the week prior. This figure only represents positive PCR tests sent to a laboratory, not rapid antigen tests or home tests. As Urban Milwaukee previously reported, this is a very high positivity rate and testing remains low across the county.

The reproduction number for the county, which measures how many people, on average, are likely to be infected by a single case of COVID-19, continue to indicate community suppression, but is right on the edge of reversing that trend and indicating increased community transmission.

Read the weekly report here. Read the children’s report here. Read the vaccination report here.

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Categories: Health, MKE County

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