COVID-19 has had a substantial impact. Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 was identified in 2019, and it has spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic. COVID-19 has led to severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization, and death. In Wisconsin, there have been a total of 1.89 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Additionally, there have been 13,620 total confirmed deaths, and a total of 1,794 probable deaths.
New variants are constantly evolving. All viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, change over time. This affects the virus’ properties, including how easily it spreads, severity of disease, and effectiveness of vaccines, diagnostic tools, and other public health and social measures.The Omicron variant continues to spread through communities and can infect people who have been vaccinated or who have previously had COVID-19. The original Omicron variant was B.1.1.529, and currently circulating lineages include BA.2, BA.4, and BA.5. The Omicron variant spreads more easily than other variants, including the Delta variant, although it causes less severe illness and death.
What you can do to protect yourself/how vaccines help protect
There are measures you can take to protect yourself, including getting vaccinated. In Wisconsin, 65.5% of residents have received at least one dose, 61.8% have completed the vaccine series, and 36% of residents received an additional/booster dose.
COVID-19 vaccines greatly reduce the risk of infection, hospitalizations, and death from COVID-19. They are safe and effective. Vaccinations protect the vaccinated and the people around them. Four COVID-19 vaccines are approved or authorized in the United States, including the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax vaccines. COVID-19 vaccine recommendations are based on your age, the vaccine you first received, and the length of time since your last dose. The CDC recommends everyone get vaccinated for COVID-19 and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines. The following is a link to stay current with CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
Other methods to protect yourself against COVID-19 include properly wearing well-fitting masks, getting tested for COVID-19, washing your hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, social distancing, and monitoring your symptoms.
Find a vaccine near you
To find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you, search vaccines.gov, text your Zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233. There are additionally several other ways you can look for vaccine providers near you.
- Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or community health center, or visit their website
- Contact your state health department: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/
- Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination appointments are available. Some pharmacies may offer vaccines to those who walk-in without making an appointment ahead of time.