Dane County achieved a pandemic milestone Monday, as 70% of all residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Health officials largely agree that herd immunity — the threshold where the virus lacks enough hosts to easily spread — would require about 80% of people to be immune through recent infection or vaccination.
Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk this spring said Wisconsin could achieve herd immunity if the state reached a 70% vaccination rate.
“We will not stop now,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said. “We will continue to provide equitable access to the vaccine and engage our community on the importance of getting vaccinated.”
The county continues to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, with 382,535 residents having gotten at least one dose, Public Health Madison and Dane County said in a statement. Of the currently eligible population — residents who are 12 years old and older — 80.8% have received at least one vaccine dose.
The county’s milestone comes as the more-contagious delta variant is on the rise in Dane County and across the state. Regions with lower vaccination rates have seen higher transmission of multiple emerging variants, including the delta variant, PHMDC said.
“As the delta variant increases case rates, now is not the time to delay any longer,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “COVID-19 can be a very serious disease, and these safe and effective vaccines are readily available.”
Disparities in vaccination rates among communities of color also persist in Dane County, with only 37.6% of Black residents and 58.4% of the Hispanic population having received at least one shot. Over 67% of residents are fully vaccinated.
Individuals looking to get vaccinated can schedule an appointment at the South Park Street Clinic or the East Washington Avenue Clinic, or through their health care provider. Residents can also get vaccinated at one of several pop-up clinics around the county.