Wisconsin Watch is a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues, and we always provide our news for free.
You can read all of our coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage by signing up for our Wisconsin COVID-19 Update newsletter, and please consider becoming a member to support our nonprofit journalism.
Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot vaccine proved highly effective in protecting against COVID-19, raising hopes for an additional tool to thwart the mutating coronavirus.
“But the results came with a significant cautionary note,” The New York Times reports. “The vaccine’s efficacy rate dropped from 72 percent in the United States to 57 percent in South Africa, where a highly contagious variant is driving most cases.”
Studies show that variant, B.1.351, also reduced the effectiveness of vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax, The Times reports. South Carolina officials on Thursday reported the first two U.S. cases of the variant.
“If Johnson & Johnson can deliver vaccines quickly enough to the United States, it might be able to help drive down cases before variants make things worse,” The Times reports. “Since the vaccine requires only a single shot — unlike the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which require two — that delivery would translate into full coverage for 100 million people.”
‘It’s here now’: The doctors and nurses who treated Wisconsin’s first COVID patient had no idea what we were in for — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Demand for COVID-19 vaccine is 4 times higher than state’s supply, health official says — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Republicans want to cut business taxes $450M with state deduction for COVID-19 loans — Wisconsin State Journal
Rock County resolution offers vaccine exemptions to Rock Haven employees — Janesville Gazette
Data to note
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services continues to log fewer daily infections, with cases now at their lowest levels since mid-September, but it still reports more than two dozen new daily deaths on average.
Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed.
WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections, deaths and hospitalizations.
Calculate your exposure risk
In Wisconsin, even small gatherings can carry a big risk of exposure to the coronavirus, according to a nationwide tool that estimates the danger by the size of gathering and county in which it is held. Data scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University developed the tool, which you can find here.
People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UW students working at COVID-19 vaccination sites can receive $500 tuition credit — Wisconsin State Journal
Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin COVID-19 Update may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing.