Less than 1/3 of Wisconsinites have received a booster shot

Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 12:16 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2022 at 2:39 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Fewer than one-third of Wisconsin residents have received the extra dose of a COVID-19 vaccine that will help provide greater protection against the virus for the longer term.

That number comes from newly public Dept. of Health Services statistics. On Thursday, the agency updated its dashboard to include the percentage of all residents that have received a booster shot. It reveals 32.4 percent of Wisconsinites have returned for their booster or additional shot.

DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake explained that this type of data helps her agency decide where they should focus their vaccine outreach efforts.

“Booster and additional COVID-19 vaccine doses are crucial in the fight against this virus, especially as the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout the state,” she added. Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene data show that nearly every sequencing test sampled this month has been an Omicron variant.

Like other DHS vaccination reports, the percentage is based on the total number of residents, including those who are not eligible. Based on the number of people DHS reports have completed their series (~3.5 million), including those not eligible for a booster, the percentage of people who have been boosted (~1.9 million) stands closer to 54 percent.

As it does in the two other DHS vaccination categories, those who received a single-dose and those who completed their series, Dane Co. leads the way for highest percentage (46.5%) having returned for a third shot.

In announcing the changes to its dashboard, DHS pointed to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that shows boosters increase the effectiveness of the vaccine against COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death.

The agency explains boosters are recommended for everyone 12 years old and older. Those who received the Pfizer or Moderna versions are eligible for a booster at least five months after finishing their initial series. For those between 12 and 17 years old, only the Pfizer version is approved.

DHS and CDC guidance for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, includes a three-shot Pfizer or Moderna series as well as a booster shot. Immunocompromised individuals who opt for the Johnson & Johnson version would need to get:

  • 1 J&J dose
  • 1 additional Pfizer or Moderna dose
  • 1 booster dose, with Pfizer or Moderna preferred for the booster

Case Drop Continues

A day after the seven-day rolling average for new cases in Wisconsin fell below 1,000 per day, marking a 90 percent decline over the past month that is also matched by a similar drop nationwide, that figure continues to fall.

The latest DHS update shows 775 new confirmed cases were reported in the past day, letting the seven-day rolling average slip to 864 cases per day over the past week.

Twenty-three new COVID-19-related deaths were recorded for the day as well; however the average number of deaths over the past week remained less than half of that. DHS’ figures put its seven-day rolling average at 11 per day, in line with where that number stood for most of the week.

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