Doctors encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, 3 years since virus first confirmed in Milwaukee Co.
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Three years ago, in March 2020, a new virus started spreading quickly throughout the county, state and country.
"Since that time, we've seen hundreds of thousands of COVID cases in our county and 2,345 deaths," Milwaukee County Chief Health Policy Advisor Dr. Ben Weston said.
New cases were spreading faster than answers about the unfamiliar virus.
"It was the uncertainty and the unknown," Hayat Pharmacy Founder Dr. Hashim Zaibak said. "We couldn't test. There was no vaccine. There was no treatment."
The world adjusted as researchers developed COVID-19 testing, vaccines and drugs, like Paxlovid.
"Now, we know how to detect it, we know how to treat it, and we also know how to prevent it," Zaibak said.
More than 60% of Milwaukee County received the original two-dose vaccine series, and about 17% followed up with a booster.
Although COVID-19 vaccination and booster rates have slowed, Zaibak told CBS 58 Hayat Pharmacy still gives about 10 to 15 shots every day.
The future of COVID vaccine timelines is still a mystery, but doctors predict recommendations could resemble the influenza vaccine.
"I wish I could look into a crystal ball and say. I think it's likely we'll move toward annual vaccines," Weston said.
Doctors are still encouraging people, especially those who are most at risk, to stay up to date on vaccinations, including getting the bivalent booster that protects against the omicron strain.