MILWAUKEE -- State data released on Thursday shows how COVID-19 is impacting those who are fully vaccinated versus those who are not.
While no vaccine is one 100 percent effective, Wisconsin Department of Health Services leaders stressed the evidence shows COVID-19 vaccines are doing their job.
"Data is the tool that drives decisions for public health," said Traci DeSalvo, director of the DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases.
DeSalvo pointed to the most recent data showing Wisconsin's seven-day average of new confirmed COVID-19 cases is almost seven times higher than one month ago.
DHS announced it is now tracking and publishing the rate of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths per 100,000 people who are fully vaccinated versus those who are not.
Surveillance data from July showed that when compared to fully vaccinated numbers, those who are not fully vaccinated made up 3 times as many cases, 3.5 times more hospitalizations, and had a tenfold increase in deaths.
"This data really does help to demonstrate the value of vaccines in preventing cases and especially in preventing those more severe outcomes like hospitalizations and deaths," DeSalvo said.
The not fully vaccinated group includes people who did not get any COVID-19 vaccine dose, were partway through their shot series, or did not reach the 2-week mark after completing their series to build full immunity.
Even though the delta variant is largely driving numbers up across both groups, public health leaders said those who are fully vaccinated still have the advantage.
However, while vaccines may have the biggest impact, tools like masking indoors and physical distancing are still important as cities, businesses, and schools move forward.
"Municipalities, as well as businesses and schools and governments and every institution, need to consider how can you combine those, those different layers of protection, in a way that, that keeps the economy going, keeps you know, education going, keeps businesses going, but still keeps people safe," Milwaukee County's chief health policy advisor Dr. Ben Weston said during a Q&A with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
DHS will update data on breakthrough cases and COVID-19 in people who are not fully vaccinated monthly.