(The Hill) — Elmo is showing off his “super duper bandage” after getting his first COVID-19 vaccine shot. The “Sesame Street” monster appeared in a public service announcement (PSA) released Tuesday to promote vaccinations for children ages 5 and younger.
“Now Daddy has super duper bandages just like Elmo,” the fire-engine red character — who’s 3-and-a-half-years-old — says to his father, Louie, in the video from Sesame Workshop, made in collaboration with the Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative’s COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative.
“You were super duper today, getting your COVID vaccine, Elmo,” Louie tells his son.
“There was a little pinch, but it was OK,” responds the famed children’s character.
Louis then tells viewers he “had a lot of questions about Elmo getting the COVID vaccine.”
“Was it safe? Was it the right decision? I talked to our pediatrician so I could make the right choice. I learned that Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep himself, our friends, neighbors and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love.”
The PSA, created in both English and Spanish, was produced in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the nonprofit Sesame Workshop said.
The push to get the country’s youngest population vaccinated comes a little more than a week after the CDC signed off on Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for kids ages 6 months to 4 years, as well as Moderna’s shots for kids up to age 5.
Children under 5 were the last group eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to Ad Council research cited by Sesame Workshop, 52 percent of parents have not “firmly made up their mind either way about getting their child under 5 vaccinated.”
It’s not the first time that “Sesame Street” has leaned on its colorful cast of Muppets to encourage vaccinations — it also created PSAs to urge adults to get the vaccines and videos targeted towards kids ages 5 and older.
“Many parents understandably have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines for young children, and we want to encourage them to ask questions and seek out information,” Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president of U.S. social impact, said in a statement. “With help from Elmo and his dad Louie, we want to model real conversations, encourage parents’ questions, and help children know what to expect,” Betancourt said.