Sesame Street’s latest Town Hall installment teaches kids about COVID-19, just days after the FDA approved the rollout of vaccines for kids ages 5-11
Talking to kids about the pandemic is tougher than most big talks, namely because the situation is constantly fluctuating. Kids want to know when they can go back to the park, play with their friends, and go back to school sans COVID safety protocols. Even if you explain it every which way, sometimes it takes hearing the same thing from cuddly, friendly faces for it to really sink in. And now that the FDA has approved the rollout of vaccines for younger children, kids are bound to have even more questions. Luckily Sesame Street Workshop teamed up with CNN for town hall specials designed to help parents explain COVID-19 to their children.
The latest episode, titled “The ABCs of COVID Vaccines,” featured CNN Chief Medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and anchor Erica Hill, along with Big Bird and all of his friends (of course!) tackling kids’ biggest questions about the coronavirus, specifically about “the COVID vaccine and staying healthy, and coping with big feelings as they continue to face unprecedented challenges in their young lives.”
Sesame Street’s Rosita gets her first dose of the vaccination in the episode
The thought of getting a shot is enough to send some younger kids into a panic, but Rosita frames getting the vaccine in a positive and loving way, saying, “See my mommy and my papi said that it will help keep me, my friends, my neighbors, my abuela all healthy.” Dr. Gupta agrees with Rosita, adding that “the more people who get [the vaccine], the better we’re going to be able to help stop the spread of COVID and keep everyone healthy.”
Big Bird is initially hesitant to get the vaccine and has a lot of questions — as many kids do! Dr. Gupta explains that the vaccine protects you against “COVID germs,” and then a panel goes over ways to help teach kids and adults alike how to handle any nervousness or fear not only about the vaccine, but about the toll quarantining has taken on all of our mental health.
The special landed just as reports of parents, including those who are themselves vaccinated, expressing concerns about giving their young children the vaccine for fear of unknown risks. Doctors, including Dr. Gupta on the special, emphasize that the best way to keep everyone healthy and bring this pandemic to some sort of close, vaccinating a majority of the population is the way to go. The special aired live on Nov. 6, but it is available to stream anytime on CNNGo for subscribers.