Elmo is now vaccinated against Covid-19

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Elmo's dad shared his questions about the Covid-19 vaccine for kids under 5.

In a public announcement released Tuesday by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, Elmo’s father Louie — also a Muppet — shared his questions about the Covid-19 vaccine for children under 5. Elmo is 3.5 years old.

“Was it safe? Was it the right decision?” I spoke to our pediatrician so I can make the right choice,” Louie said in the PSA. “I’ve learned that vaccinating Elmo is the best way to keep ourselves, our friends, neighbors and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love.”

Covid-19 vaccines are now available for children under the age of 5, and parents may have some questions, said Jeanette Betancourt, U.S. senior vice president of social impact at the Sesame Workshop.

“We hope Louie and Elmo will inspire parents and caregivers across the country to speak to their healthcare providers and seek information about how the COVID-19 vaccines can keep young children and their families healthy,” Betancourt said via email.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccines emergency use authorization for children as young as 6 months in June. dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, signed off on June 17 for Covid-19 vaccinations for children under the age of 5 after CDC immunization advisers voted unanimously the same day to end the use of Covid-19 vaccines. 19 vaccinations recommended for children under 5 years old.
Although these vaccines are now available, some parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children right away. Just 18% of parents of children under the age of 5 said they would vaccinate their child against Covid-19 once a vaccine becomes available, according to an April survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Immunization Monitor. And 38% of parents surveyed said they would “wait and see” before vaccinating their young children.

“In 2022 alone, nearly 5.7 million cases of COVID-19 were reported in children nationwide, making vaccination an important step in protecting both children and their families from the highly contagious virus and its variants.” it said in a press release from the Ad Council and Sesame Workshop.

As of June 22, nearly 30% of children ages 5 to 11 and nearly 60% of children ages 12 to 17 were fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the CDC.

The two children of CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen – who are 2 and 4 years old – received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday 27 June. While Wen was keen to get her kids vaccinated, she knows plenty of parents are on the fence.

“We must respect that people have questions, and this video validates that parents want to do what’s right for our children and encourages them to seek information from a trusted source — their pediatrician,” Wen said via email.

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The PSA serves both as a “beautiful” example for modeling healthy behavior and as a way to help people realize it’s okay to have questions about the vaccine, said Dr. Neha Chaudhary, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and chief medical officer of BeMe Health.

“I can imagine there will be kids and parents looking at this and feeling like they too can ask these questions, work through them and get the COVID-19 vaccine if their doctor gives them the okay.” , Chaudhary said via email.

Children form strong bonds with their favorite media characters, so it can be helpful for children to learn by watching a “friend” go through something new and potentially scary, said Dr. Jenny Radesky, associate professor of pediatrics at CS Mott, University of Michigan Children’s Hospital.

“It’s natural for a vaccine to be stressful for both children and their parents,” Radesky said via email. “I appreciate it when media designers cleverly incorporate pearls of knowledge into their stories that help families cope.”

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