MILWAUKEE— As cases of COVID-19 continue to fall across Wisconsin, and as more schools and the UW System prepare to pull back on pandemic-related restrictions, doctors in Wisconsin said they're worried that too many people will think the threat from the virus is suddenly gone.

"There was a real flurry as the vaccines became available initially back in November, but it's really dropped off quite dramatically over the last couple weeks," Dr. Jim Conway, a pediatric infectious disease physician at UW Health Kids and a professor at UW Madison, said. "While things are getting better, this by no means means the kids are out of the woods on this. They are the most vulnerable."

That concern tied to families simply moving on from pandemic-related precautions extends to pediatric vaccinations, including at UW Health where they distributed 850 doses in the first week they were made available in November— that's fallen to just 81 scheduled doses this week.

"We've got now millions and millions of kids vaccinated, so [there is] plenty of information and safety data that show that these vaccines are really safe," Conway said. "The fact that we were masking, pretty universally, protected kids. Now that those masks are going away, and we've got still some ongoing circulation, kids are unfortunately the highest risk group, because they're the lowest immunization rate."