Wisconsin lags nation in vaccinating kids, but Dane Co. pulls away

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 11:55 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - While the latest Pfizer research offers new hope for parents hoping to get their younger children vaccinated, recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the state of Wisconsin lagging in protecting older kids from coronavirus.

An analysis of CDC data found approximately 46 percent of adolescents in the United States who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine are already fully vaccinated. The number swells to 14 million people ages 12-17 years old when those who have been given at least their first dose are included.

According to the latest state data, Wisconsin residents are several points behind in the effort to vaccinate eligible children. Compiling Dept. of Health Services figures shows approximately 41.5 percent of residents between 12 and 17 have completed their vaccine series.

Less than 4 in 10 of children ages 12-15, for whom the vaccine has not been available for as long, have received all their required doses. It is worth noting, the DHS data only shows the number who have completed their vaccine series and does not account for the two-week waiting period afterwards, almost certainly indicating the number of children considered fully vaccinated is even lower.

The number of fully vaccinated minors in Wisconsin could jump soon in the coming weeks, though, with both the 12-15 and 16-17 age groups coming in about five points higher when including those who have received their first dose.

Dane County’s vaccination rate for those under 18 years old far exceeds the statewide and national numbers, as it does in many other age groups. DHS’ vaccination map indicates 72.3 percent of 12-15-year-olds and 78.5 percent having completed their series and reflects the wide chasms in vaccination rates among counties.

For example, just next-door in Dodge Co., just over a quarter of 12-15-year-olds and approximately a third of 16 and 17-year-olds have completed their vaccine series, DHS’ report shows. Up in Clark Co., fewer than 1 in 10 kids between the ages of 12 and 15 have received all their shots and just 15.5 percent of those 16 and 17 years old.

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