Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Wisconsin on Monday widened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents ages 16 and older, aiming to accelerate an inoculation campaign that’s viewed as one of the most effective in the country.

But access to shots remains uneven among Wisconsinites, Bram Sable-Smith reports for Wisconsin Watch and WPR. The state’s racial, ethnic and other minority groups face major vaccination barriers — just as they suffer a disproportionate share of COVID-19 infections. Sable-Smith tells the story of three members of one Latino family who say they were turned away from a Milwaukee Walgreens for insufficient identification, despite having received a letter from the state confirming their vaccine eligibility.

Mutual aid groups and others are trying to circumvent barriers through partnerships, deep listening and door-to-door engagement. (Note: You can find Wisconsin Watch reporter Vanessa Swales’ Spanish translation of the story here.) 

Top Stories

Melody McCurtis, a deputy director at Metcalfe Park Community Bridges, pulls a container filled with COVID-19 vaccine information for Milwaukee residents on March 27, 2021. Her group worked with the city health department and Milwaukee nonprofits to launch vaccination clinics open to residents 16 and older who live in Milwaukee’s Metcalfe Park and Amani neighborhoods. “We’re seeing the effects of what access, real outreach and commitment does to a community that has been oppressed and almost left on the back burner for almost a year now,” McCurtis says. Credit: Angela Major / WPR

‘We’re not given the option to get vaccinated’: Advocates work to narrow racial and ethnic disparities in Wisconsin — Wisconsin Watch/WPR 

How Wisconsin turned around its lagging vaccination program — and buoyed a Biden health pick — The Washington Post 

Parents’ hesitancy could impede efforts to vaccinate school kids — Cap Times

What to know about the COVID-19 vaccine and where to get it in Wisconsin as eligibility expands to all adults — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Without COVID-19 emergency order, Wisconsin could lose $50M In food assistance each month — WPR 

Asian Americans in Wisconsin say discrimination overlooked during pandemic — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

UW-Madison and other schools canceled spring break. Now, their students are mentally worn out. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Gov. Tony Evers has pledged millions in aid for Wisconsin businesses still reeling from the pandemic. Data shows the help is still needed — Green Bay Press-Gazette 
Residents urged to apply for emergency broadband program — Door County Pulse

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

Quotable

“If we get to a point where we see most cases occurring in unvaccinated children, parents will be more likely to vaccinate their kids. … As the lingering effects of COVID well after recovery are better understood, parents will be more likely to vaccinate their children to avoid them getting infected altogether.”

Ajay Sethi, a public health and infectious disease epidemiology researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, speaking to the Cap Times

Data to note

Click on the image above to see Wisconsin DHS COVID-19 vaccine data, which is updated daily.

Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Monday that 77% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have one-third of the state’s overall population. Racial disparities persist in distributing vaccines. The shares of Black, Hispanic and Native American residents to receive a dose remain below that of white residents. 

Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed. On Monday, the state DHS reported 307 new cases and one new death. The statewide death toll is now 6,640. 

WisContext offers this visualization. 

Find a vaccine site near you

DHS has this interactive map of vaccine providers across Wisconsin. Vaccinations are generally by appointment only and it may take time to schedule appointments with providers due to limited supplies of vaccines. Curious about how well your county is doing on vaccinations? The Washington Post created this searchable map

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

Adjusting, adapting and entrepreneurial drive helped buoy Wisconsin tourism in 2020 Wisconsin State Journal 

‘Resurrection and the Reunion’: A Janesville church reopens on Easter after 55 weeks closed Janesville Gazette 

Randall Elementary School gets creative to share music performances during virtual learning Cap Times 

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.

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