DHS Weekly COVID-19 Response and Vaccination Newsletter

DHS Logo Original 07/11/2018

COVID-19 Response and Vaccination Update

Weekly Update: May 14, 2021

Due to Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccine, Fully Vaccinated People Can Resume Activities Without Masks

On May 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance that fully vaccinated people can resume activities they did before the pandemic, including participating in indoor and outdoor activities – large or small – without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

The science is clear: If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccines are working in the real world. Studies show they are about 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, hospitalization, and death.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) supports the newly released guidance and encourages everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 so they may begin returning to the activities they enjoy.

Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks


Wisconsin Offering COVID-19 Vaccinations to Children Ages 12-15

On May 12, DHS announced that children 12-15 years old are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses for full protection and is the first and only vaccine available for this age group.

Parents and guardians of children ages 12-15 can schedule a vaccination using a variety of options, including with their health care provider, at community-based vaccination clinics, local and tribal health departments, or pharmacies. To locate a provider administering the Pfizer vaccine, visit Vaccines.gov. Parents and guardians can learn more by visiting the COVID-19: Resources for Parents and Guardians page or by calling toll-free at 1-844-684-1064.

12015 now eligible for the vaccine
12-15 year olds now eligible fact sheet

COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 and older: What parents and guardians should know

Is your child eligible for the vaccine? Learn more about the Pfizer vaccine and how it can help protect your child from COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine is safe and early results show the vaccine is 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 in this age group.

Anyone in Wisconsin Can Get Vaccinated 

All individuals authorized to get the vaccine, regardless of their timeframe or reason for being in Wisconsin, are able to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Previously, individuals who lived, worked, or studied in Wisconsin were eligible. All interested individuals are now eligible.

Addressing Barriers to Advance Equity through COVID-19 Vaccination

Vaccination is a critical tool for containing the COVID-19 virus and minimizing the adverse impact of COVID-19. Wisconsin’s goal is to immunize 80% of the eligible population. To get there, we must ensure that vaccines reach communities that face barriers to accessing medical care and people who have historical mistrust of the medical community and vaccines.

Local and tribal health departments, other vaccinators, and community-based organizations are finding ways to work with disproportionately affected groups to identify needs and opportunities to ensure vaccine access. Here are a few examples of what these partnerships look like:

  • Jefferson County Health Department has been working alongside local partners to address inequities and health care disparities that exacerbate the burden of COVID-19 on certain groups. As part of those efforts, they worked with Opportunities, Inc., which serves individuals with disabilities, to implement an on-site vaccination clinic for their community members.
  • Early in the vaccination efforts, Marathon County’s vaccination rates within the Hmong community were not increasing. Marathon County sought the counsel and partnership of the Hmong American Center and a local outreach group H2N to assist with boosting numbers. Joint efforts included targeted advocacy, outreach (including creating a series of videos in English, Hmong, and Spanish), and clinics designed specifically for the Hmong community.
  • Inclusa is a Family Care managed care organization supporting and providing long-term care services and supports to over 15,500 members in Wisconsin. Inclusa is building on the strong relationships their care teams already have with members, allowing care teams to be trusted messengers providing education and resources on COVID-19 vaccines and eliminating barriers to vaccination.

Vaccine Distribution Summary

Check out the latest data on Wisconsin’s vaccination effort. DHS updates the allocated numbers and provider data every Tuesday, and the administered number is updated every weekday at 2 p.m.

COVID-19 by the Numbers

COVID-19 Resources

Employer and Community-Based Organization On-Site Vaccination Clinics

Employers who want to hold an on-site clinic for their employees and their families, and community-based organizations who want to hold an on-site clinic for a group of individuals ready to be vaccinated, can communicate their interest to DHS and learn more about coordinating an on-site vaccination clinic on the DHS COVID-19 vaccine partner resources webpage.

Resilient Wisconsin Logo

Resilient Wisconsin

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. But taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with the challenges you’re experiencing. Resilient Wisconsin has information and tools to support good health for you, your friends, and your family.

A reminder that May in Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Learn more about how to stay mentally healthy.

Communicating in other languages

Other Languages, Graphics, and Print Materials

DHS materials are available in multiple languages as electronic files you can view online or download and print. You can use these materials at home or for your business. Visit the DHS website to view what resources are available to you.

New materials:


If you are feeling ill or if you may have been exposed to someone that has tested positive for COVID-19, visit our testing page to learn the different ways you can get tested.

Media Briefing

Briefing from Wednesday, May 12, with Governor Tony Evers, DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard.

Social Media

Follow DHS on social media for the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 response and vaccine rollout.


Looking for previous newsletters? To view past versions of this newsletter, visit the DHS website.