In June of 2022, the CDC approved the COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of 5, but the public response was skeptical, with only 18% of parents of children under 5 saying they would vaccinate their child as soon as a vaccine was available. To encourage parents to get the latest reliable information, we set out to create a PSA that would normalize their concerns, but also encourage them to talk to their pediatricians and ask questions about the vaccine.
To do this, we drew on our own 3.5-year-old monster Elmo and his father Louie, who had been established as a trusted source of guidance in our earlier COVID-19 response content. We not only normalized the vaccine by having Elmo get vaccinated and talk about his experience, but normalized the impulse for parents to be unsure and ask questions—Louie describes the various questions he had about the vaccine, before noting that he spoke with the family's pediatrician and was reassured that vaccinating Elmo was the best way to keep him, their family, and their community safe.
The PSA was published organically on Sesame Street social channels, and quickly achieved viral reach:
We also received numerous positive comments from fans, including many from parents whose children found great comfort in seeing Elmo get the vaccine: