Fauci tells children: 'I vaccinated Santa Claus myself'
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Top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Underfunding classics and humanities is dangerous MORE joked Saturday that he "vaccinated Santa Claus" himself, seeking to reassure children that the beloved North Pole dweller has received his COVID-19 shot.

Fauci, appearing in a Sesame Street-themed COVID-19 town hall on CNN, answered questions from several children on how Santa would safely make his deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Will Santa still be able to visit me in coronavirus season?" one child asked. "What if he can't go to anyone's house or near his reindeer?"

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Fauci responded with a smile, saying, "I took care of that for you because I was worried that you all would be upset."

"So what I did a little while ago ... I took a trip up there to the North Pole, and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go. He can come down the chimney. He can leave the presents. You have nothing to worry about," Fauci added.

 

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The infectious disease expert had previously joked that Santa had "good innate immunity" to the virus and would not become sick with COVID-19.

Vaccinations for health care workers and more vulnerable populations began this week following approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, while a second vaccine from Moderna got emergency approval on Friday.

The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those ages 16 and older, while the Moderna vaccine is for those 18 and older. Distribution for the Moderna vaccine is slated to begin this weekend.

Fauci earlier in the segment Saturday said that he does not recommend younger children receive the COVID-19 vaccine, weighing in after some kids asked via a remote video call when youth could receive an inoculation.

Fauci said health experts are waiting on essential data and feedback from the initial vaccine rollout for adults, saying more trials for children could begin as soon as January, beginning with older children.