Santa Claus Has Officially Been Vaccinated for COVID-19
"He can come down the chimney, he can leave the presents… you have nothing to worry about," Dr. Anthony Fauci said
Fauci, 79, assured kids around the world on Saturday that St. Nick is "good to go" this holiday season as the nation's top infectious disease specialist said he visited Santa himself to give him the COVID-19 vaccine.
After receiving questions from kids asking if Santa would still be making his rounds this year, Fauci revealed on CNN's The ABCs of COVID-19 special that he "took care" of Santa and that kids should have "nothing to worry about" this Christmas.
"I have to say I took care of that for you because I was worried that you’d all be upset," Fauci said on Saturday. "So what I did a little while ago, I took a trip up there to the North Pole, I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself."
"I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go," Fauci continued. "He can come down the chimney, he can leave the presents… you have nothing to worry about. Santa Claus is good to go."
Fauci's comments come one week after the FDA issued an emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Its distribution across the country began last weekend and another vaccine protecting against the coronavirus, from Moderna, was approved on Friday.
Last month, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shared similar comments about Santa, noting that Santa has "innate immunity" from COVID-19.
“Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity,” Fauci told USA Today. “Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody.”
Of course, Santa is the exception to the rule, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that holiday gatherings this year should look a whole lot different so as to keep everyone safe.
Earlier this week, Fauci shared that would be keeping his own Christmas gathering small this year and urged that other Americans to do the same.
The physician said in a recent interview with The Washington Post's "Power Up" newsletter that he and his wife, Christine Grady, are not seeing their three adult daughters — Megan, Alison and Jennifer — on Christmas for the first time since their births.
“I'm going to be with my wife — period,” Fauci said. “The Christmas holiday is a special holiday for us because Christmas Eve is my birthday. And Christmas Day is Christmas Day. And they are not going to come home … That's painful. We don't like that. But that's just one of the things you're going to have to accept as we go through this unprecedented challenging time.”
With the U.S. experiencing record-number cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations, Fauci pleaded for Americans to take the necessary precautions during the holidays.
“Stay at home as much as you can, keep your interactions to the extent possible to members of the same household," he said. "This cannot be business as usual this Christmas because we're already in a very difficult situation, and we're going to make it worse, if we don't do something about it."
Although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is an "unusual situation," Fauci went on to note that "it's not going to last forever."
"It is highly likely that with vaccines being distributed, that we will be back to normal by next Christmas," he said. "So make the choice and keep yourself and your family healthy so that you'll have many more Christmases ahead of you."
As of Saturday, there have been more than 17.5 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and at least 313, 740 people have died from the virus, according to data from The New York Times.
This story originally appeared on People.com.