The majority of parents in the United States say at least one of their children plans to participate in trick-or-treating this Halloween. However, concerns about the coronavirus pandemic are still keeping a good amount of kids from taking part in the beloved tradition.
One in eight parents say their kids will not be trick-or-treating this year due to COVID-19, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Democratic-leaning and Hispanic parents are most cautious, the survey reveals, with roughly one-third in those groups saying they plan on keeping their children home, while 24% of lower-income parents say the same.
Despite concerns about the virus limiting Halloween festivities for some, the majority of parents surveyed aren’t pushing to get their kids vaccinated. Over half said they are worried a vaccine mandate at school may require their child to get vaccinated even if they don’t want them to. They cited long-term effects, serious side effects, and impacts on fertility as main concerns.
To help clear up parental worries, the Biden administration plans to release a national public education campaign to provide information about the vaccine and answer any questions. While no vaccine has been approved for children under 12 as of yet, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could be cleared for use in kids ages 5 to 11 in the next few weeks, White House officials say.
In the meantime, those who do venture out for trick-or-treating this year should be reassured by studies showing that outdoor transmission of COVID-19 is “very rare,” as epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina pointed out this week in her newsletter.