MADISON, Wisconsin (WMTV) – A sharp drop in the number of 5- to 11-year-olds in Wisconsin being vaccinated at UW Health has health officials there expressed concern about the state’s youngest eligible residents.
On Thursday, UW Health reported that the number of weekly doses given to children in that age group has dropped by more than 90 percent in the past three months. It pointed to a week in early November, shortly after the Pfizer vaccine was approved, younger children, where children of that age received 850 shots through the health system. That number has dropped to the point that they only have 81 appointments scheduled this week.
The health system noted that the largest drop in vaccinations for children of that age occurred as the holiday season ended.
UW Health calls the trend “disturbing” with reference to the repeal of other COVID-19 precautions. Earlier this week, Dane County’s health department stated it would not renew its face coverage requirement when the current order expires at the end of the month, prompting the county’s school districts to weigh their own policies going forward.
“We need to remind parents that this vaccine is thoroughly tested, safe and effective for children at this age,” he said. “They deserve to be protected just like their peers, parents and teachers.”
For parents who were considering getting their children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but wanted to wait to see if it would be safe, says UW Health’s pediatric infectious disease physician Dr. Jim Conway that the wait should be over.
“It is understandable that some parents may have felt very cautious at first, but with the increasing evidence that the omicron variant and the BA.2 subvariant continue to spread, these still vulnerable patients should be vaccinated. ” he said. calls vaccines the best way to enable people to come together and keep schools safe.
The National Board of Health has stated that 55 percent of children aged 5 to 11 years in Dane Co. have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Across the state, however, that number drops by more than half, down to 26 percent.
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