After two years of living through a pandemic, kids under 5 years old can now get vaccinated against Covid-19. And while parents are justifiably feeling relieved, little ones might not feel the same excitement. It is a needle, after all, and kids are rather famously terrified of needles. Sometimes they just need to see an example set, see someone else getting vaccinated who they understand and love. Especially if that person happens to be a sweet red muppet. In a lovely public service announcement for Sesame Workshop, Elmo talks about getting the Covid vaccine with his dad Louie and dealt with it in the most Elmo way possible.
Louie took his 3-year-old son Elmo to get his Covid vaccine in the PSA released by Sesame Workshop in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Tuesday. The video sees Louie and Elmo comparing their “super-duper” bandages covering up their vaccine sites, and the proud dad tells his son that he was “super duper today, getting your Covid vaccine, Elmo.” While Elmo admitted that there was “a little pinch” from the needle, he also shrugged and said it was okay.
The one-minute long video also features Louie admitting to viewers that he had some questions he wanted answered about the Covid vaccine: “Was it safe? Was it the right decision?” He went on to say he talked to his pediatrician, and encouraged parents who had concerns to do the same.
Sesame Street has done more than its fair share to help parents and kids cope over the last two years. Whether they were speaking to kids about Covid-19, staying home, dealing with fear and anxiety, or holding Town Halls in partnership with CNN to answer questions, the legendary television series has been showing up for families in a big way.
While most viewers will be charmed by the video, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is, once again, mad at Sesame Street for comforting children. He rather helpfully retweeted the video with the message, “Thanks, @sesamestreet for saying parents are allowed to have questions! You then have @elmo aggressively advocate for vaccinating children UNDER 5. But you cite ZERO scientific evidence for this.”
Some might remember that Elmo is the second muppet Cruz has taken umbrage with, the first being Big Bird when he got vaccinated against Covid last November. Which is especially important now that kids can get vaccinated against Covid and parents might be feeling anxious about things alongside their little ones. As Louie put it in the PSA, “Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep himself, our friends, neighbors, and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love.”
For his part, Elmo was pretty happy just sporting his new bandage, playing with baby David, and giving his dad a hug. Which is coincidentally another thing made easier by Covid vaccines.