According to new estimates, 11.4% of the local Dane County population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
The most recent data available via the county’s data dashboard system shows that 62,505 local residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Of that number, 2,438 — or 3.9% — have also received their second dosage.
In a public statement, Public Health Supervisor Katarina Grande voiced her excitement regarding the increasing number of vaccinations in Dane County.
“We hope this new information helps the public track vaccine progress more easily,” Grande stated. “The fact that over 11% of people already have at least some vaccine immunity is incredibly hopeful, and we want to highlight that.”
Grande also explained that a majority of residents who have received the vaccine are health workers; however, she expressed her hopes to begin distributing vaccines to especially vulnerable communities in the near future.
“Right now, the demographics of people reflect who is eligible to get a vaccine, such as health care workers,” Grande explained. “As vaccines are becoming more available to others in the community, we hope to see the vaccinated population match the overall Dane County population, with a focus on disproportionately impacted populations.”
Dane County has already made concentrated efforts to inoculate elderly residents, a demographic that has been particularly impacted by the pandemic. Over 16,000 of vaccine recipients were aged 65-years-old or older.
Dane County officials are seeking to further aid distribution efforts by opening a new regional distribution center through the use of federal funds. If established, the new site would distribute as many as 6,000 vaccinations per day, according to Cap Times.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi expects the federal government to reach a decision regarding funding for the project sometime in the next two weeks. After approval, Parisi anticipates a quick turnaround on construction.
“There’s a potential that by the end of March that site could be up and running,” Parisi stated in an interview with Cap Times.
Local officials have stressed that despite the initial distribution of vaccines, it remains important that residents of Dane county continue to wear masks, wash hands and practice social distancing as much as possible.
“Each of us has a different comfort level with risk,” said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway in an interview with Cap Times. “But no matter how much risk you are willing to take personally, we need you to continue to help reduce our collective risk.”
Parisi echoed Rhodes-Conway’s statements, emphasising the importance of continuing measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“Everytime this virus spreads, it continues to mutate,” Parisi stated in an interview with Cap Times. “So it’s critically important that we continue to mask up and continue social distancing while we ramp up vaccinations.”