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CDC director says Halloween trick-or-treating is safe for kids outside this year

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky made the remarks Sunday ahead of Pfizer's announcement that approval for their child COVID-19 vaccine is in the works.

Just ahead of Pfizer's announcement that the company has submitted initial data to the Food and Drug Administration to support using its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11, the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Halloween trick-or-treating outside this year remains that it should be absolutely safe. 

When asked Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" if kids are safe to trick-or-treat this year, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, “If you’re able to be outdoors, absolutely.” 

Last year, health officials discouraged going full on with Halloween festivities, citing concerns over social distancing, even outdoors. While vaccinations for those ages 5-11 are still in the works, with Pfizer planning to submit a request for an emergency use authorization as soon as the FDA allows, some promising news on COVID-19 rates has come out this week. 

Wednesday, the World Health Organization reported that the global number of new coronavirus cases and deaths has continued to fall in the past week, with an estimated 3.3 million new infections and about 55,000 deaths, marking a 10% drop in both. This could be, in part, what is contributing to health officials' lightening up on holiday gathering restrictions for those who can move those gatherings outside. 

Walensky said Sunday, “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.” She said Sunday, “I hope that we can do that this year.”

As for Pfizer and it's COVID-19 vaccine for kids, the company said the shots won't likely be approved by Halloween, but rather will more likely be available some time in November. That vaccine is said to be planned as a smaller dose according to clinical trials, CNBC reported.