The gist: More than 23,000 of those under 18 in Pennsylvania contracted the coronavirus in the first three weeks of September, adding urgency to plans to get shots into younger kids’ arms. Read on to see why it won’t be easy. Vaccine numbers are lagging among city employees and Pennsylvania’s health workers. And with one in four Americans failing to get even one dose, booster shots for certain groups are starting. President Joe Biden, 78, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79, got theirs Monday.

— Anthony R. Wood (@woodt15, health@inquirer.com)

Expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to younger kids could combat rising cases — if enough parents say yes

With approval of vaccines for 5- to 11-year-old expected this fall, how many parents will bring their kids for shots is “the wild card,” said Annette Reboli, dean of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Health officials say that vaccinations in kids could boost population immunity and fend off a severe fall or winter surge. Most important, pediatricians said, they would protect children from the virus.

What you need to know:

🧑‍💼 Mandates notwithstanding, according to available figure only about a third of Philadelphia’s city employees and half of Pennsylvania’s health workers are vaccinated.

🏥 Philly’s Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium is taking a step against health-care inequity by opening a primary care clinic.

✈️ More airline passengers have been flying into a rage these days. Travelers’ refusal to wear the required masks is a big reason why.

🚑 As efforts to get people vaccinated continues, it’s worth keeping in mind that COVID-19 isn’t the most serious threat facing some Philadelphians. Consider gun violence.

💮 Not everything went swimmingly last year, but due to COVID-19 concerns the Philadelphia Flower Show will be held outdoors for the second-consecutive year.

Local coronavirus numbers

📈 Coronavirus case numbers declined slightly in Pennsylvania in the seven-day period that ended Tuesday, compared with those of the previous week. Track the latest data here.

Helpful resources

A dose of diversion: Nostalgia, on a roll

It’s nostalgic. It evokes a simpler time. And roller skating has wheeled its way back into our consciousness. In late August, an all-day skating event at the Wells Fargo center drew nearly 1,000 people, and an encore is likely. Other venues in town also have had successful skate events. Bring on the strobe lights.

🎃 Haunted hayrides, spooky rides: It’s that time of year. Boo!

🍺 Speaking of October, let’s drink to Oktoberfest in Philly.

🥾 And if you really must do something healthy, here’s five suggested hikes.

🍂 As fall events return, stay informed all season long by signing up for our Things To Do Newsletter.

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