A new public service announcement from Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the popular educational children’s television show Sesame Street, aims to encourage parents to vaccinate children over the age of 5 against Covid. In a series of brief PSA videos from Ad Council, Big Bird’s grandmother discusses why she choose to have Big Bird vaccinated.
“I made the decision to get Big Bird vaccinated because Covid vaccines are the best way to keep yourself, our friends and neighbors, and me safe and healthy,” Granny Bird says in the PSA, which will air in English and Spanish. “The vaccine is going to help my bird and all the kids out there stay safe and healthy.”
“And it will help me keep playing with my Granny Bird and all my friends at school,” Big Bird adds.
Earlier in the PSA, Big Bird, who is perpetually 6-and-a-half-years-old in the Sesame Street universe, shows off the bandaid he received after getting his vaccine and shares how he’s feeling following the jab. “I feel OK,” the 8-foot 2-inch tall bird tells Granny Bird. “My wing hurts a little bit, but that’s OK.”
This isn’t the first time Big Bird and Sesame Street have sought to encourage families to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Shortly after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged 5 to 11, Sesame Street partnered with CNN to host a Town Hall where they answered children’s questions about Covid-19 vaccines.
Big Bird then ruffled a few feathers on Twitter when he announced he’d gotten vaccinated in the days following Sesame Street’s “The ABCs of Covid Vaccines” Town Hall event. But while many adults (including President Joe Biden) applauded Big Bird for getting vaccinated, a number of conservatives attacked the Muppet and accused him of “brainwashing” children.
“Government propaganda…for your 5 year old (sic)!” Sen. Ted Cruz, who is reportedly vaccinated against Covid-19, tweeted in response to Big Bird’s vaccination announcement.
But it seems that neither Big Bird nor Granny Bird are bothered by Cruz’s criticisms. As evidenced by Sesame Workshop’s new PSA, both are still actively encouraging parents to have their children vaccinated against Covid, which has sickened more than 7 million children as of Dec. 2, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“Talk to your healthcare providers about the vaccine for your kids,” Granny Bird says in the PSA, which can be viewed on Ad Council’s YouTube page now.