There has been so much uncertainty and fear surrounding this pandemic, and many people, especially parents, are rightly apprehensive and confused surrounding how they should celebrate this upcoming Halloween. Luckily, there is good news. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci offered clarity in his recent appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying, “I think that, particularly if you’re vaccinated, you can get out there … and enjoy it.” 

To the certain delight of children, Fauci gave the go-ahead to trick-or-treating, noting that it’s an outdoor activity where there is a lesser risk of spreading the virus.

These comments came after those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who offered similar guidance. 

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” last month, Walensky too approved trick-or-treating this October, adding that kids should also try to “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,” Waensky said. “I hope that we can do it this year.”

Along with this she urged anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated or get a booster shot. Currently, there is no vaccine available for ages under 12, but Pfizer recently announced that a smaller dose of their Covid-19 vaccine is safe and generates a “robust” immune response in a clinical trial of kids ages 5 to 11. 

Soon after that announcement the company asked the FDA for authorization of emergency use application of the vaccine for ages 5 to 11.

Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla said regarding the process that, “If they [the FDA] approve it, we will be ready with our manufacturing to provide this new formulation of the vaccine.” The vaccine for ages 5 to 11 is “one-third of the dose that we are giving to the rest of the population.”

Walensky also spoke about this on ABC’s Good Morning America, saying that the CDC was “enthusiastically awaiting” the particulars. “As soon as [the vaccine data] get submitted to the FDA, I know the FDA is urgently planning to review these data, it will go from the FDA to the CDC, and we will review it with similar urgency,” she said. “And I’m hoping in the order of weeks.”

It is uncertain how long the approval process for the FDA could take. Comparatively, though, Pfizer submitted the vaccine for emergency-use authorization for adults on November 20, 2020, and got that authorization three weeks later, with the full FDA approval granted in August of 2021.

As for children under 5, Pfizer had said in July that it anticipated the results for the trials on kids 5 to 11 by September, with those for children 2 to 5 shortly after. The results for infants and toddlers ages 6 months to 2 years expected near October and November. They have, of course, run on schedule on the first results, and there are no reported delays in the other trials. 

For some parents, the vaccine for their children can’t come soon enough. According to a report in the Atlantic, several parents lied about their child’s’ date of birth or found doctors willing to vaccinate younger children through off-label use. This, of course, is not recommended by the FDA. 

Many parent’s anxieties surrounding Covid-19 stem from the uptick in cases caused by the rise of the Delta variant.

So far, millions of kids have been tested positive with Covid-19, with 460 deaths at least. The amount of kids who are contracting the virus has greatly increased during the Delta variant wave: as of September 2, children accounted for 15.1% of reported cases for the duration of the pandemic; but in just the week ending Sept. 2, they made up 26.8% of the total cases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. This increase represents a 250% increase of cases in children since the week of July 22-29.

Regardless, Covid-19 is still a mid virus in the majority of kids, with hospitalization and death of children very rare. Among U.S. states reporting data, children made up 1.6% to 4.2% of the total number of patients hospitalized with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. Often, kids are hospitalized for other reasons and test positive for Covid-19 coincidentally. 

Fauci is also hopeful looking ahead to the upcoming holiday season, saying that families should enjoy the holidays. The CDC said that it will release new guidance on holiday gatherings soon.

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