Sesame StreetThe sweet red monster, Elmo, told kids the COVID-19 vaccine was “OK” when he was vaccinated, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz took to his Twitter for the show for not citing “scientific evidence.”
Just a few weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed on to Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for children ages 6 months to 4 years, as well as Moderna’s injections for children up to age 5.
In a video that was posted on Twitter by Sesame Street and created in collaboration with the CDC, Ad Council and the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative by COVID Collaborative, Elmo showed children a band-aid on his arm next to his father Louie and said, “Now daddy has a super-duper bandages just like Elmo!”
Louie said, “You were super duper today, you got your COVID vaccine, Elmo,” and Elmo, who is 3 and a half years old, replied, “There was a little pinch, but it was OK.”
Louie then spoke to parents and said he had “a lot of questions about getting the COVID vaccine from Elmo. Was it safe? Was it the right decision? I spoke to our pediatrician so I could make the right choice. I learned that Elmo vaccinated is the best way to keep themselves, our friends, neighbors and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love.”
Some on social media were outraged at the post, including: Texas Senator Ted Cruzwho wrote: “Thank you, @Sesame Street for saying that parents can have questions! you then have @elmo aggressively advocates vaccinating children UNDER 5 years of age, but you cite NO scientific evidence for this.”
Cruz questioned the validity of the COVID-19 vaccines for such young children when the CDC first signed them off in early June. Cruz, along with Senator Ron Johnson, Representative from Florida, Bill Posey, Representative from Texas, Louie Gohmert, and 18 other members of Congress wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration requesting more information about the vaccines.
“We are in our third year with COVID-19 and we know a lot more about the virus now than we did in 2020,” Cruz said in a press release. “One of the most important things we know is that this virus poses minimal risk to children. Before the FDA approves an emergency use authorization for a pediatric vaccine, parents must be able to see the data and paperwork they would use to make this decision.” This is the least the FDA can do for families in Texas and across the country so that parents can make the best decisions for their children.”
news week reached out to Ted Cruz and Sesame Workshop for additional comment.