PA (WBNG) -- Despite natural concern and curiosity over the coronavirus vaccine, Pennsylvania officials held a scientific panel Thursday to explain the vaccines are perfectly safe, even for children.
So far, people age 12+ have been approved by the FDA to receive the Pfizer vaccine; Moderna has filed for an Emergency Use Authorization to also have its vaccine approved for people 12-17 years old.
Led by First Lady Frances Wolf and Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson, officials fielded questions from a group of teens across the state.
Many of the questions focused on not only the safety of the vaccine but its necessity for young people.
Dr. Johnson said the stats in the commonwealth prove how deadly the virus can be for all ages.
"They don't get it as often as adults, but in Pennsylvania, more than a quarter of a million children under age 18 have gotten COVID, and more than a thousand of them have been hospitalized, and we have had at least 13 who have died," the health official told reporters Thursday.
Even if children don't have symptoms when positive themselves, Johnson said the virus can still be passed on to people at high risk.
She added because of the number of people still unvaccinated, variants of COVID could pose problems in some communities.