Should I be worried about variants if I am vaccinated?

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The essential: This week, the The Pennsylvania Department of Health updated its immunization data and found it had exceeded 500,000 injections, in part because the Department could not properly follow people who received their doses at two different locations. The news came at a time when the state and others are battling a narrow window to further bolster vaccinations to defend against the more contagious variants of the COVID-19 virus.

These variants strike unvaccinated people in hot spots in the United States and around the world. Vaccination remains the strongest protection against the variants, but rates vary across the county and in the Philadelphia area. “We are confident to say that there are a few cases of the COVID delta variant in Philadelphia,” said Department of Health spokesperson James Garrow, “but it’s still rare, so it’s time to get you vaccinate. “

– Kelly O’Shea (@kelloshea, [email protected])

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So far, the world’s major vaccines, including the three approved for use in the United States, have lost little of their protective power, even against the four major variants. (However, people who skip the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are still vulnerable because they only reduced their risk of symptomatic infection by one-third.) Usually mild and does not spread easily. The bad news is that all four variants, and especially the alpha and delta strains, spread much more easily, primarily in the droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or just talks and breaths. Currently, the CDC and the FDA have said that booster shots are not necessary for fully vaccinated Americans because the vaccines provide good protection against the variants.

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As we emerge from 15 months of pandemic survival mode, what it means to ‘thrive’ is so much more complicated than sipping piña coladas in first class. To thrive is to enjoy the daily journey to personal joy, something that seems so much richer than before the pandemic, writes my colleague Elizabeth Wellington. Here’s how to thrive right now, according to the Philly Creators and Entrepreneurs Who Do It.

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