COVID-19 hesitancy slackens in Wisconsin

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:20 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - It’s been more than two weeks since the FDA approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

After nearly five months of consideration, Dane County resident, Jayne Larson got her first COVID-19 vaccine two weeks ago.

“I decided to move forward and get one of the vaccines,” Larson said. “I’ve had some allergic reactions in the past, so I was more concerned about it being safe for me.”

Three things contributed to her choice: her own research, FDA approval, and friends and family.

“I had set up a couple of appointments for myself for the vaccine, which I had to reschedule. I just wanted to make sure there weren’t any issues with it,” Larson said.

Larsen isn’t the only one changing course. Since the FDA’s approval for Pfizer’s vaccine, some counties, like Grant and Richland are tracking a weekly vaccination rate increase of a few dozen. Others like Jefferson County: a few hundred.

“Jefferson County, on Friday hit that benchmark of 50% of the population getting at least one vaccination,” Samroz Jakvani, an epidemiologist with the Jefferson County Public Health Dept. said.

Jakvani said FDA approval may have made people more comfortable rolling up their sleeve, but also it’s timing; with high school and college-age students heading back to the classroom.

“[Some schools have] masks recommended instead of required, we’ve received a lot of calls from parents about that, so we’re fairly confident that’s played a part in increase as well,” Jakvani said.

Whatever the reason, vaccination rates are trending up. “I believe people need to do what’s right for them and their families,” Larson said. “More time goes on, the more we learn and the more decisions we can make with that.”

Wisconsin’s Dept. of Health Services extended the timeline for a vaccine incentive. Anyone who gets vaccinated between now and Sept. 19 will get $100 dollars.

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