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Are two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines enough to protect folks from COVID-19 for the foreseeable future? How about one shot of Johnson & Johnson? And if boosters are necessary, when should they be taken, and can people switch vaccine brands? 

U.S. scientists are expanding efforts to answer such questions, Carolyn Y. Johnson reports for The Washington Post. That includes a trial scheduled to launch next week that will test the effects of mixing vaccine brands if needed. 

“Scientists know that vaccine-induced immunity against most diseases wanes, but the answers to those questions about the coronavirus will begin to coalesce only in the coming weeks and months,” Johnson reports. “First, scientists need to identify a threshold — what level of immunity is too low to protect people? Then, they need to learn how long it typically takes for immunity to decay to that level. And then they need to figure out how to best boost people’s immunity.”

Top Stories

Ut Trinh, a Madison, Wis., resident formerly from Cambodia, gets her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a free vaccination clinic on March, 9, 2021, at Life Center Madison. The Hmong Institute ran the clinic in partnership with the Benevolent Specialists Project. The clinic targeted Hmong and Southeast Asian adults 65 and older. Peng Her, CEO of The Hmong Institute, brought in a Hmong nurse to help with the vaccine clinic to make it less stressful for people receiving the shot. Credit: Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Scientists are figuring out if we will need another coronavirus shot — and which oneThe Washington Post

FEMA vaccination site at the Wisconsin Center set to close May 28TMJ4 News 

‘Everyone is jacked up’: After 14 awful months, Milwaukee venues get ready to host concerts again with big crowds, and without masksMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

MPS voting on use of stimulus, referendum funds as it looks to offer more career and college courses, mentorship, mental health supportMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Kenosha readies for end of mandatory face mask mandateKenosha News 

Biden orders more intel investigation of COVID-19 originAssociated Press

Gov. Tony Evers’ administration imagines future with less office space, more remote workWisconsin State Journal 

Minnesota to announce vaccine incentives ThursdayStar Tribune 

Quotable

“People just have to recognize the limitations of the data we have right now, and the critical need to generate the data to inform the decisions that matter. … We assume that it would be okay to give a boost with any other vaccine, but we want to make sure.”

John Beigel, associate director for clinical research in the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaking to The Washington Post

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 Thursday that 47.4% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 83% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 41.5% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 78.9% 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. 

On Thursday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 282 new daily infections, continuing a long-term downward trend in new cases. The state also reported 37 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the full toll to 7,040. That boosts the seven-day average to nearly 9 deaths per day.  
This chart from WisContext shows those trends.

Find a vaccine site near you

DHS and the federal government have partnered with Vaccine Finder to help Wisconsinites find vaccinations. Vaccinations are often by appointment, but providers are increasingly offering walk-in options. In addition, people seeking COVID-19 shots can text their ZIP code to 438829 to find nearby vaccine providers.  

COVID-19 fact-checking

Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? FactCheck.org offers this page full of explainers — and debunking of common distortions — about the disease to help you sort out fact from fiction. 

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