On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that this year, it’s OK for kids to go trick or treating on Halloween. This is in marked contrast to last year when he warned that the activity poses a high risk for coronavirus.
Fauci: Trick or Treating OK this Year
Fauci’s endorsement comes a week after he said it’s “too soon to tell” if families can gather on Christmas. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases credited the turnaround to declining rates in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
As a result, parents can safely take their kids trick or treating. “You can get out there – you're outdoors for the most part, at least, when my children were out there doing trick or treating – and enjoy it.
I mean, this is a time that children love. It’s a very important part of the year for children. I know my children enjoy it,” Fauci said.
“Particularly if you're vaccinated. If you're not vaccinated, again, think about that you'll add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children and your family and your community.
So it's a good time to reflect on why it's important to get vaccinated. But go out there and enjoy Halloween as well as the other holidays that will be coming up,” he said.
COVID-19 Vaccine Not Yet Approved For Children Under 12
Last year, Fauci advised parents not to allow children to go trick or treating outdoors. At the least, parents should make a face mask as part of their children’s costume.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labeled traditional trick or treating a “high risk” activity. The agency advised parents to just leave candy at their front door or driveway. This will minimize contact with strangers. At the time, vaccines were unavailable all over the world.
Despite Fauci’s endorsement for trick-or-treating this year, there are no COVID-19 vaccines available for children under 12. The closest to approval is Pfizer’s application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization for kids aged 5 to 11.
COVID-19 Vaccines Have Emergency Approval for 12 to 15-Year-Olds
Since May, 12 to 15-year-old Americans can get COVID-19 vaccines via an emergency use authorization. The FDA is now considering the application of a similar EUA for children between 5 to 11 years.
Meanwhile, Pfizer will need to submit additional data on children younger than 5. The drugmaker expects to complete its trial by the end of the year. In addition, Moderna is also conducting trials with children as young as 6 months for its mRNA vaccines.
Severe coronavirus symptoms are uncommon among younger people and children. However, the CDC recorded cases where children died of complications from the virus.
As of last week, the agency reported that 181 children from infant to age 4 and 406 children ages 5 to 18 died as a result of infection from COVID-19. As of Sept 30, 2021, the US reported that around 5.9 million children have been infected since the beginning of the pandemic.
This represents 16.2% of all US cases. In September alone, the US reported around 850,0000 infections in children. This includes 175,000 during the last week, which coincides with school openings in many states.
Watch the CNN “State of the Union” video where Dr. Anthony Fauci weighs in on the question: Is it safe to go trick or treating this Halloween?
What are your initial plans for Halloween this year? Will your kids and grandkids go trick or treating this year? How confident do you feel about celebrating Halloween this year.
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