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Northeast Wisconsin healthcare provider sees number of COVID-19 booster shots outpace initial doses

Posted at 12:19 PM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 17:52:44-04

Northeast Wisconsin is falling in line with a national trend, as some local healthcare providers see the number of COVID-19 booster shots outpace initial doses administered.

The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows 7.79 million Americans have received a COVID-19 booster. A recent NBC analysis reports the number of people getting a booster shot is surpassing first or second vaccine dose. Of the 6.7 million shots administered from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, nearly 2.7 million were booster shots. That’s compared to the nearly 2 million first doses and nearly 2 million second doses in the same period, according to the analysis.

Dr. Ashok Rai, Prevea Health president & CEO, said their clinics are experiencing a similar shift. He said they're seeing more than a "ten-fold difference" between the number of booster shots and initial doses administered.

"We have 40s to 50s in first doses versus 500 in booster shots on a daily basis," Rai said. "That kind of just shows you the demand and the difference in populations, the eligibility. All of that goes into creating those numbers. Eventually a lot more people have had their booster and that number will go down too."

The CDC lists vaccine booster shots are available for those who've received the Pfizer vaccine, completed the series at least six months ago and meet the following criteria:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying health conditions
  • Age 18+ who work in high-risk environments
  • Age 18+ who live in high-risk environments

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Monday just over 57% of people received at least one dose of the vaccine and more than 54% have completed the series.

"Especially in that 12 to 50 year old range there's a lot of opportunity to do better," Rai said. "So we still want to keep encouraging that first dose and making sure people understand the importance of it."

Rai said if the COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for kids ages five to 11, we'll likely see initial vaccine doses go up again with a potentially new eligible population.