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HOUSTON, Texas  (KIAH) –  The Harris County Public Health is urging parents to treat their kids to a COVID-19 vaccine before Halloween. 

HCPH says trick-or-treating can be much safer this year for children 12 years and older because they can be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. They’re are strongly encouraging parents to visit a free HCPH vaccine site and to get both doses of the Pfizer vaccine before the holiday.

HCPH officials suggests children under 12 take the following safety measures before and while trick or treating:

  • Wear masks
  • Stay 6 feet from people who don’t live in their household
  • Get children tested before trick or treating

The announcement from HCPH comes days after the government’s top infectious diseases expert says families can feel safe trick-or-treating outdoors this year.  On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Halloween is an important time of year for children, so “go out there” and “enjoy it.”

The CDC is also in agreeance with Fauci’s remarks on celebrating Halloween this year.  In a statement provided to WJW last month, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said,  “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.”

Last year, the CDC asked families to avoid trick-or-treating, which caused many communities to postpone or cancel celebrations.

HCPH vaccination appointments are not required but parents can make one by visiting or by calling 832-927-8787.  A list of available vaccination sites can also be found here.