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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is criticizing the push to vaccinate as many U.S. residents as possible to end the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. “The science tells us the vaccines are 95% effective, so if you have a vaccine quite honestly what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?” Johnson said during an interview Thursday with Madison conservative radio talk show host Vicki McKenna, as reported by the Associated Press. “What is it to you? You’ve got a vaccine and science is telling you it’s very, very effective. So why is this big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine? … I’m getting highly suspicious of what’s happening here.” The AP reported that Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, a Democrat seeking to replace Johnson, tweeted that the senator’s “scientifically illiterate beliefs are deadly and will only prolong the Covid crisis.” Another Democrat vying for the seat, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, said Johnson’s “denial of science isn’t just irresponsible, it’s downright dangerous.” Many experts say 70% or more people must be immune from COVID-19 to stop uncontrolled spreading.  

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Susan Johnston, pharmacy manager for UW Health’s Pharmaceutical Research Center, prepares a shot of COVID-19 vaccine. John Maniaci / UW Health

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“The take-home message is that the vaccines are going to work against the New York variant and the South African variant and the U.K. variant.”

Nathan Landau, a New York University virologist, speaking to the New York Times about his study showing both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective against mutations of the coronavirus.

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 Friday that 41.5% of Wisconsinites have received at least once vaccine dose, including 80.1% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 30.4% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 73.5% 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 Friday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 654 new cases. The state also reported 13 COVID-19 deaths, pushing the full toll to 6,738. 

WisContext offers this visualization:

Find a vaccine site near you

DHS has begun partnering 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:

Restaurants and bars should prepare now to apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

From Milwaukee columnist Dan Shafer:

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