Wendell, NC — Just days before Halloween, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11.
While families wait for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to also vaccinate OK kids, many will be waiting not to trick-or-treat on Sunday.
Local pediatricians say there’s no reason families should stay home for the holidays.
“This is an activity I can endorse because trick-or-treating is an outdoor activity. [Children] staying outside and going house to house and staying on the porch,” says Dr. Lori Langdon, a pediatrician at Harnett Health.
National health experts have also expressed support for families going trick-or-treating after a year of cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This is a time kids love. It’s a really important part of the year for kids,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, earlier this month.
Kids and parents said they are happy to be back for the scary tradition.
“It feels great… the air is open and everyone is very nice tonight,” said a parent trick-or-treat near Wendell Park,
Health experts said there are some risks to trick-or-treating, especially for families living in a high-dispersion community, but there are ways to reduce the risk.
Families are encouraged to do trick-or-treating with people in their household or in a small group, stagger start times so that not everyone is out at once, and wash hands thoroughly before eating sweets.
Langdon noted that Halloween could be the last holiday before children can be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“Maybe we’re giving a vaccine to kids ages 5 to 11 when you think about the holidays coming up.” [and] how much more comfortable we can feel this holiday season,” she added.
Langdon advises people handing out candy to remain masked and leave plenty of room for kids to pick up the treats.
People who want to maintain social distancing while handing out candy can also get creative.
During the height of the pandemic last year, people were making candy bags, candy canes, and candy cannons for trick-or-treaters.