Santa has been making a checklist and reviewing it twice as Christmas draws near. He’s also ready to deliver presents around the world after receiving his COVID-19 booster shot, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert. 

“Santa already has great innate immunity,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told USA TODAY. He has had his vaccinations and boosters this year, which makes him even safer. Santa will be just fine and is good to go!”

That means children around the world can rest assured – Santa is ready to come down the chimney, eat cookies and participate in other traditions this holiday season.  

Last year, Fauci told USA TODAY that Santa wouldn’t be at risk of “spreading any infections to anybody.”  

Fauci claimed that Santa was exempted from the above because Santa, despite all his good qualities, has an abundance of good innate immunity.”  

He also reassured children watching a ‘Sesame Street’ town hall put on by CNN last year that he vaccinated Santa Claus himself, giving the jolly man an extra layer of protection while he traveled with his trusty reindeer.   

“I took care of that for you because I was worried that you’d all be upset,” Fauci said. 

He said, “I myself vaccinated Santa Claus.” I measured Santa Claus’ immunity level and it is high. He is ready to go. 

Nation:Supply chain issues are affecting Santa Claus. This year, visits with children may not be possible

Fact check:Santa Claus can be reached by children through USPS Operation Santa. Santa will send them letters and Santa will give the gifts.

Experts in health urge anyone over 5 years old to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. 

USA TODAY was told by Dr. Greg Poland (a professor of medicine, infectious diseases, and director at the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group) that he is also a North Pole special consultant. He explained to Santa Claus that the latest research shows getting your booster shot “turns out to be the best possible thing you can do to protect yourself” against COVID-19 variants, especially if you are traveling worldwide. 

Poland said that North Pole Elfs have all been given their COVID-19 vaccinations. He noted that many of the elves are elderly and at higher risk for more severe illness from COVID-19.

And Poland also checked in with Santa’s reindeer as new evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, is spreading in white-tailed deer in the U.S. The herd was healthy, he said. No symptoms have been seen in any of the magic animals. 

Poland declared, “This looks like a great Christmas at the North Pole.” He also said that Santa will be present everywhere he needs to be. Because the reindeer have been safe and healthy, everything is going according to plan in toy production.   

The Pfizer BioNTech CoviD-19 vaccine was approved for children aged between 5 and 11 last month. Under 5 year olds are not eligible for the vaccine. 

Experts say your family should also take precautions like Santa Claus and the elves if you plan to gather this holiday season. People who are not fully vaccinated should wear masks in public, indoor settings, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should also wear masks in public, indoor settings in areas that have substantial to high transmission of the virus.  

People who have a condition or take medication that weakens their immune system may also take precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, according to the CDC. Avoid hosting or attending an event if you are sick or have symptoms, in addition to taking on other protections. 

USA TODAY was told by Poland that Santa wants everyone to feel safe. He’d rather have everyone on the safe list than the naughty. 

He said, “I think that those who have had their vaccinations are going to be seeing an additional candy cane on Christmas tree.” 



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