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Wisconsin DHS recommends COVID booster doses for everyone 18 and older as cases rise ahead of holidays

Susan Schneider MD  Aspirus System Senior Physician Executive  Primary Care.jpg
Aspirus Health
Dr. Susan Schneider, Aspirus System Senior Physician Executive of Primary Care

Anyone older than 18 can now receive a COVID-19 booster dose if they completed their Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series at least six months ago.

That is the latest recommendation from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

It comes at a time when local COVID cases are rising ahead of the holiday weekend.

The Aspirus Reference Lab saw the positivity rate of COVID-19 tests increase for the third week in a row last week.

That rate now sits at its highest point since January.

Last week Aspirus Health reported just over 100 people hospitalized for COVID-19.

Twenty-nine of those people were in the ICU. A majority were not vaccinated.

Aspirus Health
Aspirus COVID snapshot as of November 17, 2021

Dr. Susan Schneider, the System Senior Physician Executive of Primary Care for Aspirus Health, says these numbers show a disconnect between how people are acting and what’s happening in local health care facilities.

“You go out in the community, customers and businesses are unmasked, there’s less social distancing, larger gatherings are happening, yet within the health systems we are seeing a critical level of hospitalizations, we’re seeing ICU-level beds are scare, we’re seeing resources are really strained,” she says. “So I think there really is a disconnect or desensitivity of what’s going on.”

Schneider says the Delta variant seems to be spreading faster among younger, healthier people.

Some of those people develop severe COVID and need to be hospitalized.

She says the best line of defense against the virus is the vaccine, especially as colder weather pushes people to spend more time inside.

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