Good news: Vaccination rates are up across America, even in hard to reach 'hesitant' areas
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The rise of COVID-19 infections due to the rampant spread of the Delta variant has cast a shadow over a summer many thought would be a return to normalcy. Last Friday, the U.S. hit 100,000 daily infections, a number we haven't seen since vaccines became readily available.

The good news is that the surge in cases has inspired a lot of vaccine-hesitant people to change their minds.

"This may be a tipping point for those who have been hesitant to say, 'OK, it's time,'" Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told CNN. "I hope that's what's happening. That's what desperately needs to happen if we're going to get this Delta variant put back in its place."


More than 816,000 shots were administered Saturday, making it the third consecutive day that the seven-day average of people getting the shots topped 400,000. The country hasn't hit that metric since the Fourth of July weekend. The country hit its vaccination peak in April when it was averaging 2 million shots a day.

The increases are happening in Southern states that have some of the lowest percentages of vaccinated residents and the highest number of infections.

Louisiana currently has the highest positivity rate per capita and has seen a 114% increase in shots. Arkansas had a 96% increase, Alabama 65%, and Missouri 49%.

Although there have been numerous news stories about the increase in breakthrough infections throughout the country, science shows that it's truly a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

"The media's coverage doesn't match the moment," a senior Biden administration official told The Guardian. "It has been hyperbolic and frankly irresponsible in a way that hardens vaccine hesitancy. The biggest problem we have is unvaccinated people getting and spreading the virus."

"It is really a pandemic among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we're out there, practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated," Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 99.999% of people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have not had a breakthrough case resulting in hospitalization or death.

Less than 0.004% of fully vaccinated people have had a breakthrough infection requiring hospitalization.

Seventy-four percent of breakthrough infections have occurred among adults 65 and older.

Given the vaccine's incredible success, it's great to see that more people are changing their minds and deciding to get the jab, but we still have a long way to go before we reach herd immunity.

On Sunday, the CDC said that 49.6% of the U.S. population are fully vaccinated and 58.1% of the vaccine-eligible are fully vaccinated.

At the onset of the virus, medical experts believed that the country would have to hit a 60 to 70% vaccination rate to achieve herd immunity. However, Yale Medicine says that given the increase in variants, the county may have to have a vaccination rate of up to 85% before it will reach herd immunity.

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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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