Sesame Street character Elmo got his COVID-19 vaccine in a public service announcement now that children under age 5 are eligible for the shot.
The decision to allow young children to get vaccinated came after a Food and Drug Administration panel determined that COVID shots for children as young as 6 months old are safe and effective. Vaccinations for young children started last week.
While COVID shots begin for young children, there appears to be apprehension among parents about getting young children vaccinated.
A poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 18% of parents of children under age 5 plan to get their kids vaccinated “right away.” A plurality, 38%, said they will “wait and see.” The poll found that 11% of parents would only vaccinate their children if required, and 27% said they would “definitely not” vaccinate their children.
“We know there is tremendous relief that comes with the authorization of these vaccines for kids under 5, but many questions too. It’s important that parents feel informed and confident about what the COVID-19 vaccines mean for their families, and we are proud to work with our partners, medical experts – and of course Elmo – to spread that message,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Our work with Sesame Workshop has been invaluable in helping us to connect parents and caregivers with the accurate information they need when deciding to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 – an important decision many need to make in advance of the upcoming school season.”
The PSA also includes Elmo’s father Louie. Sesame Workshop said “Louie reminds parents that it’s okay to have questions and encourages viewers to talk to a pediatrician or healthcare provider for the latest facts about the vaccines, which are proven to reduce the chances of serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19.”