Just about everyone in Wisconsin who wants the coronavirus vaccine has gotten a shot. But public health managers say a lot of people in Wisconsin are still not vaccinated.
The state’s Department of Health Services reported on Tuesday that doctors and nurses have administered 4.2 million doses since the end of December. That includes 1.8 million people who’ve gotten both doses. That means 42% of the state has gotten one dose of the vaccine. Another 32% of the state has been fully vaccinated.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said that is not enough.
“I really want to stress how important it is to get the shot,” Barret said during a news conference Tuesday. “I hope people do what’s right.”
But beyond pleading, the question remains as to just what leaders in Wisconsin can do to get more people to get vaccinated.
“Government and local public health officials who believe they can threaten and force adults to be vaccinated for COVID-19 should tread carefully,” MacIver Institute President Brett Healy told The Center Square. “If local health officials want people to trust them, their expertise and their advice, they need to lay out their arguments in a straightforward and reasoned approach.”
Some local health managers have held-out the possibility that they may keep coronavirus restrictions in place until local vaccination numbers top 70%.
Healy said, at a certain point, Wisconsin is going to have to leave getting vaccinated up to individuals.
“COVID-19 has dominated our lives for over a year now so everyone knows about the virus, the risk it poses to each of us individually and each of us has made up our own mind on how we want to combat the virus,” Healy said. “No one can say the public does not have all the information they need to decide for themselves on how to deal with COVID-19.”
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