As of November 29, there have been 994,456 additional booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Wisconsin. The state is nearly guaranteed to eclipse the one million dose mark by, if not on, December 1.
More than half of that has been third doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Boosters are not required to match the same manufacturer as the initial doses of COVID-19 vaccination received.
While healthcare providers have delivered more overall doses, pharmacies are administering higher daily totals lately. Pharmacies across the Badger State administered 34,437 booster shots between November 16 and 23, topping 21,452 from health care providers.
As of November 29, Advocate Aurora Health's COVID-19 vaccination program has administered 55,385 booster shots.
The Delta variant remains the predominant strain of coronavirus in Wisconsin, and cases of the Omicron variant have yet to be identified in the United States or Wisconsin.
As long as community spread cases continue globally, healthcare experts say the mutations will go on. Fortunately, coronavirus tests will be able to detect mutations of the same virus.
"There's a big difference between the test that you get when you go in to get a COVID test because you have symptoms or whatever, and what we're talking about with this viral sequencing for variant discussion," Dr. Dan Shirley, an infectious disease physician at UW-Health said. "So nothing changes for the testing of kind of every day COVID ... that will test for all of the variants we have, including Omicron."
In order to determine viral sequencing, specialized labs at the state level research genetic markers in the virus from specified test cases to determine what strain of coronavirus a person may be infected with.
"We don't test each person for say the Delta variant," Dr. Shirley said. "It's more about, of all the samples, what proportion is Delta," which would be the majority of current cases in Wisconsin.