MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Dane Co. public health officials are offering anyone needing their first COVID-19 vaccine shots a fourth option. On Friday, Public Health Madison and Dane Co. began offering the newly approved Novavax vaccine, to compliment the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson versions already offered.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the Novavax option, which has already been approved in more than 40 countries in mid-July. The two-dose series in only available for people, 18 years old and older, who have been vaccinated; it cannot be used as a booster, PHMDC explained. As a protein-based vaccine, this new version can serve as an alternative for people allergic to mRNA (i.e. Pfizer and Moderna) or viral vector (i.e. Johnson & Johnson) vaccines.
In addition to the new vaccine, PHMDC revealed that nearly one in six new infections in the county are people who were previously infected by the virus. The agency reported in tweet that a year ago, only one or two percent of cases were re-infections. Overall, though, cases have stabilized recently in Dane Co., health officials noted, reporting an average of 223 cases per day over the past two weeks.
While cases are stable, the county did slip out of the high category in the CDC’s nationwide COVID-19 community levels map. The updated weekly version of the map saw Madison’s home county fall back to medium. In fact, much of southern Wisconsin, which had joined Dane Co. in the high category, has fallen back to medium. The CDC bases its map on a combination of cases and hospitalizations, which would have allowed the drop despite level case counts.
Outside of the Milwaukee metropolitan area, only Crawford and Rock counties in southern Wisconsin remain at high levels, while Grant and Iowa counties have fallen to low activity.
Statewide, ten consecutive days of (mild) declines in the seven-day rolling-average for new, confirmed cases has seen that number fall from 1,804 to 1,672 cases per day, according to the Department of Health Services dashboard. The rolling average has remained above 1,500 cases per day since July 12, when the drop over the Fourth of July weekend had aged out of the average. Deaths related to COVID-19 remain low in Wisconsin, DHS reports, with its rolling average sitting at two per day, in the neighborhood of where it spent the past several months.
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