Here are some significant developments:
- The delta variant appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal federal health document that argues officials must “acknowledge the war has changed.”
- Sacramento County and D.C. on Thursday joined a growing list of major metropolitan areas ordering all residents to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
- The four-day Lollapalooza music festival is underway in Chicago, raising fears about the virus spreading in the throngs of attendees. With 100,000 concertgoers expected each day, the event ranks as one of the biggest public gatherings the United States has seen since the pandemic began.
- The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer predicted Wednesday that coronavirus vaccine boosters would soon be needed, a declaration that came on the same day the company published data showing that its shots remained robustly protective six months after vaccination.
- Israel is now moving toward making booster shots available for older adults, after Health Ministry experts agreed late Wednesday that a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be offered to the elderly. The experts cited local data showing an apparent decline in the vaccine’s efficacy over time, as well as a surge in new cases fueled by the delta variant.
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