'Sesame Street' encourages COVID-19 vaccines for kids with special: 'It will help keep me, my friends, my neighbors, my abuela all healthy'

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SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 09:  Sesame Street characters Rosita (L) and Elmo pose backstage at Sesame Street and HBO Host Free Museum Day with a special performance by Elmo and Friends at The New Children's Museum on January 9, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
'Sesame Street' promotes COVID-19 vaccines for kids. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)

Sesame Street is teaching kids about the COVID-19 vaccine, just days after the FDA approved rollout of the shots for the 5 to 11 age group.

Sesame Street has worked with CNN on town hall specials about the coronavirus pandemic as part of Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other initiative. This vaccine-oriented town hall special, titled “The ABCs of COVID Vaccines,” streamed live on CNN on Saturday, Nov. 6. According to the official Sesame Workshop description of the special, “Familiar faces from Sesame Street and experts from CNN and across the country will be ready to answer children’s questions about the COVID vaccine and staying healthy, and coping with big feelings as they continue to face unprecedented challenges in their young lives.”

The special saw muppet Rosita having just received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Rosita tells Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN anchor Erica Hill, who hosted the town hall and appeared virtually alongside residents of Sesame Street, “My mommy and my papi said that it will help keep me, my friends, my neighbors, my abuela all healthy.”

Dr. Gupta confirmed that was indeed the case, explaining to Rosita how “the more people who get [vaccinated], the better we're going to be able to help stop the spread of COVID and keep everyone healthy.”

Big Bird — who is, apparently, just six years old, was one — was persuaded to get vaccinated after listening to Hill and Dr. Gupta. The experts explained to Big Bird how the vaccine helps build up your body’s defenses, should it ever meet any “COVID germs.”

This special comes on the heels of reports that some parents, including those who were enthusiastic about getting the vaccines themselves, are choosing to wait to vaccinate their children for fear of unknown risks. Many doctors, however, stress that vaccinating as much of the population as possible is the quickest way out of the pandemic.