Hello, readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: The sights, sounds, and smells of Independence Day made a triumphant return.

Then: Here’s what missing a second shot means for battling COVID-19′s Delta variant.

And: The number of students who are homeless at Philadelphia high schools is being undercounted.

P.S. This newsletter is taking a brief holiday and will be back Wednesday morning. See you then.

— Olayemi Falodun (morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

After a year spent inside, the Fourth of July returned

Fourth of July celebrations made a triumphant return Sunday to the city where America began — to thunderous applause from concertgoers liberated after a year spent isolated in their homes by the pandemic.

Hundreds of families turned out for the annual Welcome America festival, some to see performances by recording artists Flo Rida and Bebe Rexha, others to reserve prime seats to watch the fireworks display on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and all eager to spend time outside.

Reporter Vinny Vella recaps a day of fireworks, food, and fun.

1 million Pennsylvanians have missed their second shot. They’ll need it against the Delta variant.

Due to more than 1,000,000 Pennsylvanians missing their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, the state missed its mark of 70% of residents inoculated by the end of last month.

In addition, the state’s no-show rate ranks among the highest in the nation, as medical professionals, officials, and researchers brace for a surge of variant cases this fall.

The Delta variant’s highly contagious nature has prompted new restrictions in places across the world, some of which are in contrast with the CDC’s guidance.

Reporters Justine McDaniel, Erin McCarthy, and Chris A. Williams detail the importance of the second dose in the continuing fight against COVID-19 and its variants.

Reopening resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Time flies by whether you’re moving or not. 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

🚜 Take a journey to the farm in Alliston, Ontario, where Flyers prospect Wade Allison puts in work during the off-season as he looks to build on last season’s success on the ice.

🌩️ The National Weather Service is adding this tag to its storm warnings, in an effort to get your attention.

🌭 At Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Sunday, the champ broke his own record, downing 76 franks and buns in 10 minutes.

🍖 And, if you’re looking for the best barbecue, look no further.


“We all have the ability to help the hospital and its staff heal. We need as many people as possible to get vaccinated, so we can once and for all put this scourge behind us,” writes Michael J. Stephen, an associate professor of medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, imploring the public to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to prevent hospitals and medical staffs from being crushed by another wave.

What we're reading

Your daily dose of | Christmas in July

The Kellys are a South Jersey family making up for loss time. More than 50 people, including family, friends, and Santa, came through this weekend to celebrate celebrate Christmas and the Fourth of July. The reunion and celebration took place after a wedding, the birth of a child, and the loss of a beloved family figure all occurred during lockdown.