PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — COVID-19 case numbers are rising substantially in Pennsylvania and many other states. With the holidays fast approaching and the delta variant still circulating, experts are encouraging people to get the coronavirus vaccine.

During the colder months, “People are more indoors, and so there’s lots more opportunity for viruses to spread,” Dr. Denise Johnson, Pennsylvania’s acting physician general, said.

With the most wonderful time of the year nearly here, Johnson hopes everyone will give themselves a gift: a COVID vaccine.

“Especially before the holidays, if you’ve not been vaccinated, you need to get vaccinated,” Johnson said.

Although breakthrough COVID cases do occur in vaccinated individuals, the shots do protect people. As many health experts have been saying, “We know that the majority of people who are getting sick, hospitalized, and dying are unvaccinated,” Johnson said.

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Since the shots were approved for 5- to 11-year-olds at the beginning of November, nearly 100,000 children in that age range have been vaccinated. Johnson said those kids seem excited to be getting their COVID vaccines, but with only 9% of 5- to 11-year-olds having rolled up their sleeves so far, it is unclear if parents are as enthusiastic.

“We’ve got some way to go, but we’re making headway,” Johnson said. This abc27 article includes a list of places in the Midstate offering pediatric COVID-19 shots.