Should I be worried about variants if I am vaccinated?


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])

👨‍🍳 As restaurants and bars are swarming with customers again, many owners report that they just can’t find enough staff. The Inquirer interviewed 190 workers to find out why. Here is how they responded.

❓ The death of a Montgomery County man from COVID-19 may have been due to an infection he contracted at a hospital rehabilitation center after undergoing hip surgery. The number of other nosocomial COVID infections in the country is unclear.

👩‍🏫 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that schools fully reopen for in-person instruction this fall, but with masks for unvaccinated children. Here’s what that means for schools in Pennsylvania.

The Department of Labor admitted to overcharging millions of dollars to unemployed Pennsylvania workers, estimating the mistake had affected about 250,000 people.

Baby boom or bust? The pandemic has had profound impacts on pregnancy and birth rates, as well as on birth outcomes, and the long-term consequences could spill over into economies, education systems, etc.

What is happening in your department or neighborhood? We’re running recent pandemic coverage from local counties and neighborhoods in Philly to make it easier for you to find the information that interests you. Sign up here to get these local headlines delivered straight to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays

The Inquirer and Spotlight PA are compiling geographic data on confirmed coronavirus cases, deaths from the virus, and vaccinations to curb the spread. Follow the latest data here.

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.

Waste collection is regularly late. Many libraries and neighborhood swimming pools remain closed. Some SEPTA routes are offline or limited. People can re-enter Town Hall, but may need appointments for services. Despite the lifting of Philadelphia’s coronavirus safety restrictions and the reopening of local government offices, a range of city services may not return to pre-pandemic levels until fall. Deana Gamble, spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney, said the city hopes to step up the pace of the reopening in September, when students return to school and more companies return workers to their offices. Each of the services that are struggling to get back on track faces its own obstacles. Here’s what you need to know.

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.

The best hoagies in Philly to eat right now. (Plus our top vegan and vegetarian hoagie picks)

🏖️ Free activities to do on the Jersey Shore this summer.

🎥 From drive-ins to pop-up story time, here are the best kids events in Philly this week.

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