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Wisconsin governor urges virus vaccinations amid new surge

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday urged anyone age 12 or older who will be attending school in the fall to get vaccinated as soon as possible for COVID-19, as cases surge in the state due to the more contagious delta variant.

The call from Evers and the state’s top health official comes amid a growing concern in Wisconsin and nationally about growing numbers of COVID-19 cases. In Wisconsin, the seven-day average of new confirmed cases was 242 as of Thursday, which was three times as high as two-and-a-half weeks ago.

“Getting vaccinated now means we can help make sure our students are back in the classroom and won’t have to miss out on in-person classes or extra-curricular activities,” Evers said in a statement. “The COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection we have against the virus and make it possible for our kids to get back to learning safely and without disruption.”

Only people 12 and older can get vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for children ages 12 to 17, but it requires two shots that are spaced 21-42 days apart. That’s why Evers and state Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake urged people to take action soon, since school starts in Wisconsin in early September.

“With the recent increase in new cases, and the very real threat of the Delta variant, vaccination remains our best tool for preventing further disruption in our schools and universities throughout the state,” Timberlake said in a statement.

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