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'COVID-friendly holiday': Local health expert encourages Halloween celebrations with precautions

The FDA has not yet approved COVID vaccines for children under 12, so health experts encourage extra safety while enjoying Halloween events.

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. — Multnomah County's health officer is joining other health experts nationally in encouraging people to celebrate Halloween with a few added precautions.

"I think Halloween is a great, COVID-friendly holiday," Dr. Jennifer Vines said. 

Vines encouraged people to keep activities outside.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation's leading doctors, also encouraged people to avoid large parties and indoor events.

"It's a good time to reflect on why it's important to get vaccinated," Fauci told CNN. "But go out there and enjoy Halloween, as well as the other holidays."

"It's still a good idea to have people masked indoors," Vines added. "And if people are not feeling well, they really shouldn't be participating in Halloween activities."

Halloween comes as about 28 million children, ages 5-11, wait for COVID-19 vaccine approval. They could get shots in arms as early as November, according to a call between governors and the White House this week.

"I think all indications are hopefully, once the FDA completes its work, we'll see vaccines in kids after Halloween," said Dr. Michael Anderson, senior adviser for Children's National Hospital.

RELATED: Clark County releases guidelines for a COVID-safe Halloween

Vines said the good news this year is COVID cases are trending down.

"We seem to be emerging from this Delta wave with nothing on the horizon, knock on wood," she said.

School and workplace vaccine mandates have also helped boost COVID immunization rates. 

"[Mandates] send a message that something is important," Vines said. "If you've never thought twice about polio or measles, chances are it's because you had to be vaccinated for it."

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