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Fauci says kids should enjoy Halloween and go trick-or-treating this year

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As the pandemic threatens to foil another holiday season, many parents are wondering if and how kids will be able to celebrate Halloween safely. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, offered some peace of mind: "I think that, particularly if you're vaccinated, you can get out there ... and enjoy it," he said.

During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Fauci gave the green light to trick-or-treating, noting that it's an outdoor activity where there's less of a risk of infection.

"This is a time that children love. It's a very important part of the year for children," he said.

He also said families should enjoy the other holidays that are coming up, but stressed the importance of being vaccinated to "add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children and your family and your community."

Fauci's guidance is in line with CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" last month that kids should be able to go trick-or-treating in small groups. 

"If you're able to be outdoors, absolutely. Limit crowds. I wouldn't necessarily go to a crowded— crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups," Walensky said.

She also urged those who are eligible to get vaccinated or get a booster shot. Pfizer's vaccine is currently available for ages 12 and up, and the company has asked the FDA to authorize it for ages 5 to 11. If regulators agree, shots could begin for younger kids within a matter of weeks.

Last year, with cases rising and no vaccine available yet, the CDC had much stricter guidance for the holidays, putting door-to-door trick-or-treating on a list of higher-risk activities. It also encouraged families not gather in large groups for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other major holidays. 

But now that three different vaccine brands are widely available in the U.S. and over 187 million Americans are fully vaccinated, guidance for many situations is changing. The CDC said it will release new guidance on holiday gatherings soon.

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