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With more than a third of American adults hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine, social psychologists are trying to understand the reasons for that reluctance — in efforts to more swiftly end the pandemic, the New York Times reports.
“What they discovered was a clear set of psychological traits offering a new lens through which to understand skepticism — and potentially new tools for public health officials scrambling to try to persuade people to get vaccinated,” Sabrina Tavernise reports.
One team of researchers found that vaccine-hesitant people were much more likely than others to value individual liberties and to distrust people in power.
“Skeptics were also twice as likely to care a lot about the ‘purity’ of their bodies and their minds. They disapprove of things they consider disgusting, and the mind-set defies neat categorization: It could be religious — halal or kosher — or entirely secular, like people who care deeply about toxins in foods or in the environment,” Tavernise adds.
Vaccine skepticism was viewed as a knowledge problem. It’s actually about gut beliefs. — The New York Times
Counties at highest risk for COVID harm often have lowest vaccination rates — ProPublica
Pediatricians weigh in on what’s safe and not safe for unvaccinated children — NPR
Walworth County health officials say politics not considered in vaccine outreach — Janesville Gazette
COVID-19 cases up in Holmen schools as parents complain about masking, quarantine — La Crosse Tribune
‘Woo-hoo!’: Business owners ‘ecstatic’ now that capacity limits have been lifted in City of Racine — The Journal Times
Proposal would make vaccine tampering, destruction a felony in Wisconsin — WPR
Restaurants and bars can start applying for federal COVID relief on May 3 — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Data to note
Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Friday that 43.1% of Wisconsinites have received at least once vaccine dose, including 80.8% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 33.8% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 75.1% 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 indoors 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 623 new cases. The state also reported a seven-day average of 12 COVID-19 deaths, pushing the full toll to 6,823.
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.
Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? FactCheck.org offers this page full of explaniners — and debunking of common distortions — about the disease to help you sort out fact from fiction.
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.
Goodman Community Center, African American Health Network partner to bring education, vaccines to Black community — Madison365
How Wisconsin organizations supporting reproductive health and parenting weathered the pandemic — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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