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Who is exempt from the COVID-19 vaccine, explained | Morning Newsletter

And, who’s who in the Senate race.

    The Morning Newsletter

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

Good morning and welcome to the week. Here’s what is already humming this morning.

We explain what you need to know about medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines.

And you’d better believe Pennsylvania couldn’t resist a starring role in the high-stakes battle next fall for control of the U.S. Senate. Find out the contenders to watch and bookmark our candidate tracker.

OK, let’s get into it.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_AshleyHoffman,

That 15-minute post-vaccination waiting period started in case anyone had a severe allergic reaction to one ingredient in the Pfiizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots: polyethylene glycol (PEG), which can cause allergic reactions in a small number of people.

Now that we’re eight months into the full-throttle rollout, we know that allergic reactions to the shots have been rare, and in most of the cases, PEG doesn’t even look like the culprit, after all. Researchers are conducting a nationwide study to determine what other factors might be causing the reactions.

The most important thing to note is that, right now, most colleges and employers are saying that they will factor in requests for exemption for people with a documented allergy to PEG, even though most people haven’t had an issue. Some spell out who is exempt. Others leave it open.

Reporter Tom Avril has a crash course on what medical exemptions are actually accepted.

The 2022 race for Republican Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat is wide open, and you’d better believe Pennsylvania will be resuming its position on the national stage as a place that could tip the ultimate results. Know the candidates. They’ll shape the postures, messages, and future of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Reporter Jonathan Tamari makes the candidates easy to follow in this guide.

Reopening resources

  1. Some people are changing their minds about the coronavirus vaccine. Here’s how doctors persuade them.

  2. These are the Philadelphia restaurants that require proof of vaccination.

  3. Should you laminate your vaccination card? What if you lose it? Here are the dos and don’ts.

What you need to know today

  1. This woman battles against a waste-to-energy plant in Chester City is her latest cause. “If you can name it, we fought it,” Zulene Mayfield says of her 30 years fighting what she calls industrial scarring.

  2. Those who worked with Cape May rookie lifeguard Norman Inferrera, who died Friday, remember his work ethic and spirit.

  3. Philly is a significant “urban heat island,” and rain might be getting a little extra juice from a certain neighborhood.

  4. Sometimes it’s not fun to be No. 1. That’s the case for the Philly region, which ranked No. 1 for rodents in homes before the pandemic, when the problem only worsened.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

As a house, it’s hard to stand out in this town, but this one does.

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

🏆 For the 12th year, The Inquirer has ranked in the region’s Top Workplaces.

🎸 Let music critic Dan DeLuca be your Hella Mega Tour guide, featuring Green Day, Fallout Boy and Weezer, as he reviews a concert in which flames shot out of Pete Wentz’s bass guitar.

🏥 A tablet for every hospital patient to own individual health goals? This is the hospital of the future that Penn Medicine’s new facility wants.


“Our response to the unrelenting gun violence isn’t working. For all the meetings and hearings and millions of dollars spent, that is the reality, proven day after day in numbers and grieving families and traumatized communities,” columnist Helen Ubiñas writes that children in this city keep getting shot, and their worlds keep shrinking.

  1. “I thought hating those who hate me would make me just like them,” Alicia Liu, a Swarthmore College student, writes about how she forgave her homophobic evangelical community for hating who she is.

  2. “Redistricting is a double-edged sword that cuts depending on the hand that wields it,” Will Gonzalez, executive director of Ceiba, writes that Latinos in Pennsylvania can be stewards of change, not victims of it.

What we're reading

  1. Is it safe to plan an international trip for the fall right now? Conde Nast Traveler asks experts.

  2. Meet Tlaloc, god of water, portrayed in a 100-foot pool in Mexico City visible from airplanes through National Geographic.

  3. Kenyatta Johnson writes about preventing gun violence in Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Tribune.

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