Pennsylvania state officials keep encouraging the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines while the Delta variant of the virus spreads across the United States.
As reported by poconorecord.com, two days after lifting the statewide mask mandate, health officials on Wednesday explained that “vaccines remain our biggest defense against the virus and the potential threat of the Delta variant.”
Department Of Health Communication Office (DOH) Deputy Press Secretary Maggi Barton noted that state officials are taking the Delta variant “very seriously,” even though information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a very low prevalence of mutation in the commonwealth, with “1% of cases being sampled and genomically sequenced.”
“The potential threat of Delta and all other variants underlines the importance for all eligible people to get fully vaccinated,” Barton said. “The administration encourages all eligible individuals to get fully vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is only sharing percentages of variant cases appearing in Pennsylvania, indicating that only 1% of a total of 1,259 variant cases observed over a four-week period ending June 5 were determined to be the Delta variant.
CDC data indicates the currently available vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson offer at least some protection against the Delta variant.
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Mask mandate will not return
According to the CDC, as of Tuesday, Pennsylvania has administered first doses of vaccine to 62.7% of its entire population, and ranks eighth among all 50 states for first doses administered by percentage of population. Sixty percent of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated, while 75.3% have received their first dose, putting the commonwealth fifth among all 50 states for total doses administered.
There is no indication that officials will reinstitute a masking mandate in Pennsylvania, despite the state not reaching its proposed goal of a 70% vaccination rate among adults.