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Inside a vaccine trial for kids, as school approaches | Morning Newsletter

And, rental assistance still pending in Philly.

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Hello, abiding readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: Children under 12 don’t yet have vaccines available to them, despite the delta variant being widespread and an uptick in coronavirus cases.

Then: Thousands of Philadelphians and their landlords are still waiting for rental assistance.

And: More than 10,000 Black Philadelphians have been recruited to take part in a study focused on understanding glaucoma.

— Olayemi Falodun (

As the pandemic rages on, and the start of the school year looms in the tri-state area, children under 12 remain the only sector of the population without readily available vaccines.

Minh-Tu Do, a physician who specializes in pediatric emergency medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, has seen firsthand devastating impact of the coronavirus on kids.

Do recently volunteered his sons Justin, 9, and Joey, 4, for the Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE vaccine trial, joining thousands of other children under 12 in various trials.

Reporter Tom Avril details the child vaccination program experience, its importance, and how it differs from adult trials.

Despite having already disbursed tens of millions of dollars in rental assistance to keep people in their homes in Philadelphia, thousands of applications are still awaiting review as the federal eviction moratorium nears its end.

Officials appear to be on pace to meet the deadline, with about 3,500 applications under review each week, according to the city.

However, more than 37% of applications are in need of further review after being flagged as incomplete and in need of re-submission.

Reporter Michaelle Bond looks at the program and where it stands in providing Philadelphians with rental assistance funds.

Reopening resources

  1. Here’s what Philly experts are thinking about COVID-19 risk, while the delta variant’s outdoor transmission is still unclear.

  2. Track the latest data on COVID-19 cases in the region.

  3. Do you need to upgrade your mask?

  4. Before you go out to eat, here’s a list of Philly restaurants requiring vaccination proof to dine in.

  5. Should you laminate your vaccination card?

What you need to know today

  1. Get the details on researchers at Penn running a genetic study of glaucoma among Black people, with more than 10,000 participants.

  2. Find out what critics are saying about the Public School Employees’ Retirement System’s investment strategy and how it impacts taxpayers and school employees.

  3. Health experts offer their views on why respiratory viruses are cropping up a season sooner, and what that means for the fall and winter.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

An evening when the glass is half full, the view is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.

That's interesting

🌬️ Learn about the Philly connection to the rise in air conditioning ahead of temperatures soaring this week amid a heat wave.

✍🏼 Mexican writer and poet Carlos José Pérez Sámano is “creating new communities” as Penn Museum’s first artist in residence.

🏥 Meet the crisis responders at Temple University Hospital who go above and beyond to help those who enter the trauma center.


“People of a certain age have been programmed to ignore all types of pain and doubt when the biggest moments arrive. People of a certain age can deal with failure easier than they can deal with retreat. People of a certain age — people like me — need to evolve,” writes columnist Marcus Hayes about showing respect to mental-health advocates in sports.

  1. The newly expanded federal child tax credit program does not address the more predominant issue that is the lack of value placed on child care, argues Jonathan Lipman, a strategy and communications consultant for progressive organizations and nonprofits.

What we're reading

  1. Philly’s own David Hale Sylvester, who has traveled the world and has embraced more than half a million people, is the inspiration behind Sept. 12 this year being celebrated as National Hug and High-Five Day. Philly Mag covers his journey, which started 20 years ago.

  2. North Philly native Dawn Staley says she’s “done” as the U.S. women’s basketball team head coach, after securing gold at the Tokyo Olympics, according to ESPN.

  3. A new joint study finds Black and Latinx nursing home residents are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, KYW Newsradio reports.

  4. A special agent identified only as Tai is believed to be the first Black woman to join an FBI SWAT team, CNN reports.

Your daily dose of | Love Ink

Here’s a love story written with permanent ink. Katherine Walston and Matthew Frederick share a passion for skin art that has the couple sharing their love, vows and treasured moments together through tattoos.