It will be safe for children to trick-or-treat this Halloween, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says

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halloween trick or treat
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said children could safely trick-or-treat on Halloween. Jemal Countess/Stringer/Getty Images
  • CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said children could safely trick-or-treat on Halloween.

  • She said it would be OK for children to trick-or-treat outdoors, but large indoor gatherings should be avoided.

  • Young children are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, though FDA authorization is expected this fall.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Rochelle Walensky, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said children could safely trick-or-treat on Halloween this year so long as they do so outdoors.

"If you're able to be outdoors, absolutely," Walensky said during an appearance Sunday on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

But Walensky said she would avoid larger events.

"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, and I hope that we can do that this year," she added.

According to data from the CDC, 64.6% of people in the US over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, having completed their vaccine series. The US Food and Drug Administration in May issued an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years old.

But children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible to receive a vaccine, although one may be on the horizon. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said

"It will certainly be this fall," said Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, during an appearance last week on ABC News' "This Week."

Fauci said the authorization for the Pfizer vaccine would come before the authorization for the Moderna vaccine. Under a best-case scenario, he said, vaccines would be authorized for young children by Halloween. As Insider's Aria Bendix reported, a Pfizer timeline outlined a scenario where children ages 5 to 11 could be eligible for the shots by the end of October.

Children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old could be eligible for the shot by late November, according to the Pfizer timeline.

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