Protect Yourself Against Variants by Getting Vaccinated
COVID-19 vaccines are still the best way to protect against the virus – including against new variants like the Delta variant. The data shows current COVID-19 vaccines provide protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death in patients who have one of the variants of the virus.
New variants of COVID-19 are emerging around the world. Viruses are constantly changing, and viral mutations are common. We see this happen in other viruses, like in the virus that causes influenza.
Viruses that spread rapidly have more opportunity for their genetic material to change, so variants can emerge faster than for viruses that spread more slowly. Some of the most common COVID-19 variants appear to spread faster than the original virus. According to the CDC, 1 of 5 new COVID cases in the U.S. are tied to the Delta variant.
Getting Ready for Back-to-School
On July 9, the updated CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in Kindergarten (K)-12 Schools supported in-person learning while continuing to implement strategies to prevent transmission of COVID-19 among students and school staff. This week, the Pennsylvania Departments of Health (DOH) and Education (PDE) continued to advise school entities to follow current CDC guidance, to the greatest extent possible, when creating and implementing mitigation policies and practices for their communities. DOH and PDE will not be releasing separate state guidance or recommendations for the start of the 2021-22 school year.
The recently updated CDC guidance prioritizes layered COVID-19 prevention strategies that can be implemented by schools to maintain in-person instruction safely. These prevention strategies are critical for protecting students, teachers, and school staff who are not fully vaccinated.
Everyone 12 and older in Pennsylvania can get a COVID-19 vaccine. If your child hasn’t gotten their vaccine yet, there is still time to get them fully vaccinated with both doses of the shot before the school year begins.
Updates Will Be Shared as Available for Boosters
Pennsylvania has made tremendous progress in reaching our goals of encouraging every resident to get be fully vaccinated. And we’ve been working hard to make sure every Pennsylvanian who wants a vaccine can get it easily and conveniently.
While the Pennsylvania Department of Health has not received official information from the CDC about booster shots, we will continue to closely monitor the evolving information and be prepared to work with providers to ensure Pennsylvanians have access to the vaccine.
Get the Facts About the Vax
To help Pennsylvanians get the facts they need to make an informed decision about COVID-19 vaccines, we have created the “Vax Facts” Facebook Live Series. Each event includes a panel of doctors and healthcare workers who can answer your questions about COVID-19 and the vaccines.
On July 13, the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs hosted a Vax Facts for the Asian Pacific American Community. The recording of this event and our other Vax Facts events are available:
COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies in adolescents. To find out more about COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens, please visit the CDC’s website.