Elmo has gotten vaccinated against COVID, and that was a big deal on Sesame Street this week, with almost a hundred thousand views of the special clip on Twitter.
"You were super-duper today getting your COVID vaccine, Elmo," says Louie, Elmo's dad.
"It was a little pinch, but it was okay," Elmo replies.
Then Louie addressed the camera, saying how, "I 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 him, our family, neighbors, and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love."
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID vaccines for children have undergone "the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history."
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, said in a statement that the clip was produced "in collaboration with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative ... in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), [which] encourages parents and caregivers to get informed about the COVID-19 vaccines following the recent FDA emergency use authorization and CDC recommendation of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for children aged 6 months and older..."
"Nearly 5.7 million child cases of COVID-19 have been reported nationally in 2022 alone," they also noted. 900 children have died with or of COVID in the United States since the outbreak of the pandemic, the majority of whom had significant comorbidities.
Responses on Twitter were, predictably, divided. Texas Senator Ted Cruz retweeted the clip, writing, "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."
Most of the more outraged responses to the clip were hidden by Sesame Street (although they can still be viewed if one knows how). Many focused on the influence of pharmaceutical companies on the show; one person took the trouble to create a spoof of his own:
"Brought to you by the letter P," wrote another.