MADISON, Wis. (AP) — More than 1 million people in Wisconsin have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Tony Evers said Friday. But that good news was tempered by the announcement that health officials have detected another highly contagious version of the virus in the state.
As of Thursday, Wisconsin had administered at least one dose to 17.6% of its population, ranking it 18th nationwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That was ahead of the national average of 16.3%.
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More than 1.6 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Wisconsin. More than 570,000 people have been fully vaccinated, based on the totals from the state Department of Health Services.
The first shipment of about 48,000 doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was scheduled to arrive in Wisconsin next week. State health officials also said the next eligibility group would be announced next week, likely to include some people with pre-existing health conditions.
Teachers, health care workers and others became eligible this week, joining everyone over age 65 as well as frontline health care workers. More than 58% of people over age 65 had received at least one dose, the state reported.
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Every adult in Wisconsin who wants to be vaccinated should be able to get an appointment by the end of June or early July, said Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy health secretary, on Thursday.
Health officials announced late Friday afternoon that they had detected one case of a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus in Wisconsin. The variant, known as B.1.351, was first seen in South Africa in October. It was discovered in the United States in January.
State health officials said they detected the variant through genetic sequencing performed on portions of positive tests. They did not say where in the state it was found. Elizabeth Goodsitt, a spokeswoman for the health department, didn’t immediately respond to an email.
Wisconsin health officials had identified 26 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first seen in the United Kingdom as of Friday afternoon.
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