Dr. Sheryl Henderson of UW Health receives her COVID-19 vaccine from athletic trainer Ashlee Smith in December. Reluctance to get the vaccine extends to the health care profession, though a UW Health official called it a "very small percentage." John Maniaci / UW Health
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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Today we highlight a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about the state’s slow pace of COVID-19 vaccinations among assisted living residents. 

“Most of Wisconsin’s assisted living residents have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, even as Wisconsin moves on to lower priority groups less vulnerable to the disease,” Sarah Volpenhein reports. “It may take until March or April, a Walgreens official has said, before Wisconsin’s assisted living population is completely vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Critics blame the slow pace in assisted living facilities — in Wisconsin and other states — on an overreliance in a federal program that heavily involves CVS Health and Walgreens for vaccine distribution, Volpenhein reports. They point to a quicker pace in West Virginia, the only state to opt out of the federal program. West Virginia instead relies on smaller independent pharmacies.

Top Stories

Dr. Sheryl Henderson of UW Health receives her COVID-19 vaccine from athletic trainer Ashlee Smith in December. Reluctance to get the vaccine extends to the health care profession, though a UW Health official called it a “very small percentage.” John Maniaci / UW Health

Nearly half of Wisconsin’s adult population may be eligible for vaccine. What next? Cap Times 

Most in Wisconsin assisted living have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, even as less vulnerable have Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

International team of scientists identify new treatment for COVID-19 that appears to be far more effective than drugs in use now Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Can I stop wearing a mask once I get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s what life will be like once you get the shot. USA TODAY NETWORK — Wisconsin 

New pandemic plight: Hospitals are running out of vaccines The New York Times 

Low supply of COVID-19 vaccine delays vaccinations for residents 65 and older in Milwaukee TMJ4 News 

What happens to leftover vaccines at end of the day? How come random members of public have been vaccinated? The Journal Times

What are we missing? And how are you coping? Help us provide critical information and accountability by filling out this form or emailing us at tips@wisconsinwatch.org.

Quotable

“Once you get the supply and figure out ways to administer the vaccine, then all of a sudden we’re going to be confronting some of the challenges in the public in resistance to being vaccinated. That’s not apparent now.” 

— Patrick Remington, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s preventive medicine residency program, speaking to WPR

Data to note

WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin COVID-19 infections, deaths and hospitalizations. 

The Department of Health Services in recent weeks has continued to log fewer daily infections. DHS on Monday reported a seven-day average of 33 new daily COVID-19 deaths. The state’s full COVID-19 death toll is 5,699.

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed. 

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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

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: tips@wisconsinwatch.org

“It’s just exhausting,” Weary Traveler co-owner Christopher Berge said about the past year. “We just hope to turn a corner soon. It’s been my toughest year in 30 years of restaurateuring.” Samara Kalk Derby / Wisconsin State Journal

Weary Traveler owner fighting for ‘the character of the neighborhood’ Wisconsin State Journal 

School District of Onalaska installs air filtration systems to help reduce COVID spread La Crosse Tribune 

Sharon Larkin works to maintain Tomah theater through pandemic La Crosse Tribune

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.

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (wisconsinwatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.