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HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Council of Churches and representatives from other religions are urging those who have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to get one.

The council and its partners are urging Pennsylvania residents to get vaccinated in the expectation that clergy and faith leaders can make a difference amid rapidly rising COVID-19 Delta variant infections and stalling vaccination rates, according to a news release from the council.

While Pennsylvania has not experienced the same rise in COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths as many other states, infections are rising, with greater numbers of younger adults falling victim, the council said.

The council said no vaccine is 100% effective, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death,” and “COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Reporting indicates that fully vaccinated people account for less than 1% of COVID deaths and less than 3% of hospitalizations, and that those who do experience breakthrough infections are often symptomless or have only minor symptoms, according to the news release.

Anyone over the age of 12 is eligible to be vaccinated, and the supply of vaccines is more than sufficient for anyone wanting a vaccination to receive one, the council said.

Videos urging people to get vaccinated so far feature representatives of the Council’s Christian constituencies as well as Islam, Hindu, and Baháʼí faiths. More videos will be posted as they are received. Videos may be viewed on the Council’s YouTube channel, and the council says viewers are encouraged to share videos widely on social media and within their networks.

The Pennsylvania Council of Churches is an association of autonomous Christian denominations within the state.

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