As Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccination rate slows due to vaccine hesitancy, this is a friendly reminder that vaccines save lives. And not just your own. Your neighbor Gary, your grandma Barb, and even your arch-rival Tim (sure you don’t like him, but he pushes you to be better, and for that, you have to respect him).
After leading the charge among US states in COVID vaccines for much of the spring, Wisconsin’s vaccination rate, like my sourdough starter, has stagnated since mid-April. Still, nearly 45% of Wisconsinites have received at least one dose, and 38% have completed the vaccine series as of May 12th, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
The good news is that despite the slowing vaccine rate, new cases and deaths have leveled off in the state over the last month, with a current seven-day average of 491 cases and 10 deaths as of May 12th.
Why are fewer cheese heads getting vaccinated these days? While the main reason for the declining vaccination rate is simply vaccine hesitancy, other factors like lack of access due to busy schedules transportation struggles have also been key issues.
To combat these issues, physicians across the state and country are having one-on-one conversations with their patients, answering questions and encouraging them to get vaccinated. Hey, after the year we’ve had, I’m happy to have a one-on-one conversation about anything with just about anybody. The vaccine is also being offered at smaller clinics, as opposed to the mass vaccination sites you’ve probably heard a lot about in cities like Milwaukee and Madison.
After the CDC approved the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents ages 12 to15 Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin announced that COVID-19 vaccinations for the Bar Mitzvah through Quinceñera age group could begin as soon as Thursday, May 13th. With this new age group added to the existing group of eligible adults aged 16 and up, the vaccination rate in Wisconsin is expected to rise once again.
For those of you worried about the vaccine side effects, I get it, being sick is no fun, even if for a day. But if you’re afraid of the vaccine side effects, wait until you hear about the covid symptoms! Like Kristin says in the TikTok below, I have had hangovers worse than the side effects.
I had a headache, a minor fever, and needed three naps in a single day. But after about 36 hours, I felt completely back to normal with the exception of some arm soreness. I didn’t grow any extra limbs (which sounds more like a feature than a bug, by the way), get followed by undercover government officials (to my knowledge), or start emitting a 5G signal (although it would be nice to cut down on my phone bill). In other words, go get your damn vaccine!
In Wisconsin, vaccines are widely available at local health departments, pharmacies, mass vaccination clinics, and health care providers across the state. Visit the DHS website, vaccines.gov, or contact your local provider for details on how to get your vaccine today!