The gist: To improve vaccine access, Pennsylvania community leaders are walking the streets, hosting after-work clinics, and bringing shots to churches and mosques. Esperanza has been a success at vaccinating Latinos, but Black Philadelphians still lag behind, despite that demographic making up just over half of the population in the area.
What you need to know:
🚸 The Food and Drug Administration authorized the first coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in children ages 12 to 15 on Monday. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be administered for the age group as soon as the CDC director signs off on the recommendation, which could happen this week.
🗓️ Philadelphia on Tuesday will unveil its plan for reopening the city as the coronavirus pandemic subsides and vaccination rates increase, Managing Director Tumar Alexander said.
📉 Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said in a weekend television interview he thinks it’s “unlikely” the United States will experience another nationwide spike of COVID-19 cases this fall and winter.
🏒 The Flyers and Penn Medicine are offering COVID-19 vaccines at Monday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center to all ticketed fans and employees. Anyone who gets the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot will receive a voucher for two free tickets to a Flyers game next season.
😷 Low vaccination rates among long-term care workers in New Jersey is leading to outbreaks in the state’s facilities, health commissioner Judith Persichilli said.
💉 This New Jersey-based company has produced 1 billion additional needles for the COVID-10 vaccination effort.
📰 What’s going on in your county or neighborhood? We organize recent coverage of the pandemic by local counties and Philly neighborhoods to make it easier for you to find info you care about. Sign up here to get those local headlines sent directly to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Local coronavirus numbers
📈The Inquirer and Spotlight PA are compiling geographic data on confirmed coronavirus cases, deaths caused by the virus, and vaccinations to curb the spread. Track the latest data here.
While vaccine hesitancy is one factor contributing to declining demand for the coronavirus shot in recent weeks, plenty of people in the Philadelphia suburbs — particularly people of color or lower-income residents — still face other obstacles, such as transportation, work hours, physical limitations, or caregiving obligations. Community leaders and volunteers need specific tactics to reach them, such as door-to-door canvassing, hosting after-work clinics, and bringing shots to churches and mosques. “If we want herd immunity, we can’t only think of people who are going to stand in line for six hours or the people who are going to rush to find a location,” said Daveda Graham, cofounder of Nurses United Against COVID-19, a grassroots organization vaccinating people in Delaware County. Read more here.
Esperanza, the FEMA -un mass vaccination clinic, was established specifically to address low vaccination rates in North Philadelphia. Esperanza’s outreach to Latinos has been effective — making up 56% of the clinics shots. The Black community, though, has gained far less benefit from the site. Only about 18% of the clinic’s shots have gone to Black recipients, despite that demographic making up about half the population in the area. In interviews with The Inquirer, residents who were not yet vaccinated cited a mix of frustration, misinformation, fear, and the reality that in a city with high poverty and record gun violence, COVID-19 isn’t necessarily the community’s only threat. Read more here.
Here’s how to prepare for your vaccine appointment.
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Symptoms of COVID-19, flu, common cold, and allergies can overlap. How to tell the difference.
You got this: Enjoy a picnic
While Philadelphia may seem like little more than a massive expanse of asphalt and concrete sometimes, the city has tons of spots to throw down a blanket or grill up lunch in a scenic park. As the weather warms, my colleague Nick Vadala rounded up a few great places to picnic in Philly, the suburbs, and New Jersey.
😔 Lacking motivation? Try “temptation bundling” — linking something you enjoy with pursuing a valuable goal that might be a bit of a drag.
📖 Jennifer Weiner talks about her new book That Summer, a #MeToo story that stretches from Cape Cod to the Main Line.
🌳 From Love Your Park week to art club, here are the best kids events in Philly this week.
Have a social distancing tip or question to share? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and your input might be featured in a future edition of this newsletter.
What we’re paying attention to
With long COVID — the mysterious problems that continue after infection has cleared — experts are worried that the cycle of racist discrimination will keep people of color from getting quality care, Stat reports.
A 103-year-old COVID-19 survivor shared advice for the unvaccinated with NPR.
See fewer people, take fewer showers? Some people said they started bathing less during the pandemic, The New York Times reports.
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