TUESDAY, Oct. 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- It's okay for American children to go trick-or-treating this Halloween, Dr. Anthony Fauci says.
During an appearance on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, the nation's leading infectious disease expert said trick-or-treating is an outdoor activity where there's less risk of coronavirus infection, CBS News reported.
"This is a time that children love. It's a very important part of the year for children," Fauci noted.
"I think that, particularly if you're vaccinated, you can get out there ... and enjoy it," he added.
He also said families should enjoy other upcoming holidays, but emphasized people need to be vaccinated to "add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children and your family and your community."
Last month, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said children should be able to go trick-or-treating in small groups, CBS News reported.
"If you're able to be outdoors, absolutely. Limit crowds. I wouldn't necessarily go to a crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups," Walensky said.
Those who are eligible to get vaccinated or get a booster shot should do just that, she urged. Pfizer's vaccine is now available for ages 12 and up, and the company has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize it for ages 5 to 11. If regulators agree, shots could begin for younger kids in a few weeks, CBS News reported.
Last year, with cases rising and no vaccines available yet, the CDC issued much stricter guidance for the holidays, saying trick or treating was a high-risk activity and encouraging families not to gather in large groups for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other major holidays.
However, three different vaccines are now widely available in the United States and over 187 million Americans are fully vaccinated. The CDC said it will release new guidance on holiday gatherings soon.
Visit the U.S. National Safety Council for more on safe trick or treating.
SOURCE: CBS News