The gist: Philadelphia expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults Friday, three days ahead of schedule after multiple vaccine providers reported this week that not all of their appointments were filling up. Philadelphia residents who are at least 16 and still need to be vaccinated can walk up without an appointment this weekend at the FEMA-run vaccine clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Center City. COVID-19 cases among children are on the rise as people being socializing more and highly contagious new strains spread, my colleague Sarah Gantz reports. Read more here.
What you need to know:
😷 Pennsylvania has reported just 331 positive COVID-19 cases out of more than 2.5 million who have been fully vaccinated. That a rate of about 0.013%.
💉 New Jersey will open vaccine eligibility to all adults Monday.
📈 “I’m worried that people believe that the problem is behind us, and it’s not behind us.” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said he is concerned about the increasing rate of new COVID-19 cases.
🏥 Nearly half of Pennsylvania nursing home staff declined coronavirus vaccines, despite how hard-hit the facilities were by the pandemic.
📚 Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities freeze tuition for in-state students for the third straight year.
🎭 Philadelphia arts funding gains a little in Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed budget, but it’s far below pre-pandemic levels.
🦠 Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine pause complicates plans to vaccinate Philly region’s vulnerable homeless residents.
🎒 New Jersey advocates are seeking extended services for special-ed students who missed school because of the pandemic.
📰 What’s going on near you? 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. Now, you can also get those local headlines sent directly to your inbox by signing up here.
Local coronavirus cases
📈The Inquirer and Spotlight PA are compiling geographic data on tests conducted, cases confirmed, and deaths caused by the virus. Track the spread here.
Philadelphia expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults Friday, three days ahead of schedule after multiple vaccine providers reported this week that not all of their appointments were filling up. About 40% of the city’s adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, but experts say about 70% is necessary for herd immunity against the coronavirus. Philadelphia residents who are at least 16-years-old and still need to be vaccinated can walk up without an appointment this weekend at the FEMA-run vaccine clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Center City.
COVID-19 cases among children are on the rise as people are socializing more and highly contagious new strains spread, my colleague Sarah Gantz reports. In Montgomery County, those under age 19 accounted for just 3% of cases in the first two weeks of April 2020. Now, they make up a quarter of the county’s new cases, with 806 children testing positive in the first two weeks of the month. “No activity is risk-free these days,” said Mayssa Abuali, a pediatric infectious-disease specialist with Einstein Healthcare Network and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Read more here.
Am I eligible to get vaccinated? Know the requirements for Philly, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine in the Philly area? Use our lookup tool.
Here's how to prepare for your vaccine appointment.
What you can do safely once you're fully vaccinated.
Symptoms of COVID-19, flu, common cold, and allergies can overlap. How to tell the difference.
You got this: Don’t throw your masks away just yet
Pandemic precautions like social distancing, mask-wearing, frequent hand washing,and mostly avoiding others, meant many of us did not get sick with illnesses like colds or the flu this last year. But once more people are vaccinated and “normal” is close, would it be bad for our immune systems to keep avoiding germs? My colleague Stacey Burling asked immunologists and other physicians. Here’s what they say.
🎢 It’s normal to feel emotional about the vaccine. Here’s why it’s a rollercoaster.
💰 HipCityVeg and other restaurants to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour to attract workers.
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
Even as more and more people become vaccinated, the Washington Post reports that many international travelers are still postponing vacations.
Some scientists are concerned that future versions of the COVID-19 vaccine might not be as effective as they are today, STAT reports. Here’s why.
The COVID-19 vaccines won’t protect millions of people with weakened immune systems, the New York Times reports.
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