Credit: Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Wisconsin counties that overwhelmingly voted for former President Donald Trump — such as Taylor, Clark and Rusk counties — are also registering the state’s lowest vaccination rates, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found in a new analysis. 

“And counties that shifted more Republican, or ‘red,’ since 2012 are seeing lower vaccination rates than counties that shifted more blue during the same time period,” report Mary Spicuzza, Andrew Mollica, and Rick Barrett. 

Education levels shape the trend as well as politics, but the vaccination disparities aren’t a rural versus urban issue, the reporters write. “Some small rural counties that voted for Biden had higher than average vaccination rates, including Ashland, Bayfield and Iowa.”

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Quotable

“But how do you get people to understand that it could be even more of a normal summer if everybody got the vaccine? It’s hard because everybody’s an individual and there’s a lot of peer pressure.”

Sheila Nyberg, economic development director of Clark County, which has Wisconsin’s second-lowest vaccination rate, speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I know folks are looking to return to normal life. Now that Wisconsinites ages 16 and older are eligible to get the vaccine, it’s critically important to make a plan to get vaccinated and help us ensure that our state and our economy can bounce back and better than we were before this pandemic hit.”

Gov. Tony Evers in a statement during World Immunization Week 

Data to note

Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Monday that 42% of Wisconsinites have received at least once vaccine dose, including 31.5% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 73.9% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 80.3% of those older than 65. 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 — particularly as more contagious virus variants spread. On Monday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 602 new cases, continuing a downward trend over the past two weeks. The state also reported a seven-day average of 7 COVID-19 deaths, pushing the full toll to 6,756. 

WisContext offers this visualization:

Find a vaccine site near you

DHS has partnered with Vaccine Finder to help Wisconsinites find vaccinations. Vaccinations are generally by appointment only and it may take time to schedule appointments with providers due to limited supplies of vaccines. 

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

Finding a bright spot during the pandemic — with art Wisconsin State Journal 

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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.