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(LifeSiteNews) – The long-running children’s program Sesame Street and its most iconic character Elmo have once again been conscripted into promoting the social priorities of the federal government, this time with a social media clip about the furry red Muppet receiving a COVID-19 vaccine to encourage parents to vaccinate their children.

“You were super duper today, getting your COVID vaccine Elmo,” Elmo’s father says in the clip, meant to promote the recently-authorized doses of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs for children as young as six months. “I had a lot of questions about Elmo getting the COVID vaccine. Was it safe? Was it the right decision? I talked to our pediatrician so I could make the right choice. I learned that Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep himself, our friends, neighbors and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love.”

On June 17, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) formally approved use of Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA-based COVID vaccines for children between the ages of six months and six years, one of the only age groups for which the shots have not yet been approved. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention backed the decision the next day.

The previous decision to approve administering reduced doses of Pfizer’s COVID shot to children between the ages of five and 11 raised concerns thanks in large part to Dr. Eric Rubin, a member of the FDA’s Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, stating that “we’re never going to learn about how safe this vaccine is unless we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes.”

Data shows that children are at little to no risk from the virus itself. Last summer, a team of researchers with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine “analyze[d] approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data from April to August 2020” and found a “mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia.” The lead researcher, Dr. Marty Makary, accused the CDC of basing its advocacy of school COVID vaccination on “flimsy data.”

Meanwhile, even experts otherwise friendly to the new shots — as acknowledged by the left-leaning publication Wired — argue that the potential for vaccine-related myocarditis among young males undermines the public health establishment’s persistent refrain that “the benefits of [COVID-19] vaccination far outweigh any harm.”

Millions of Americans remain hesitant to take the COVID-19 shots, which were developed and tested in a fraction of the time vaccines usually take under former President Donald Trump’s “Operation: Warp Speed” initiative, due to concerns they were rushed to the public without adequate vetting for safety. Much of that concern has been bolstered by data from the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

In March, it was found that 11,289 cases of pericarditis/myocarditis after COVID vaccination were reported to VAERS database between January 1 and February 25 of this year, which is already 47% of the 24,177 reports for the same submitted in all of 2021.

COVID shot defenders claim that VAERS offers an exaggerated view of a vaccine’s potential risks, as anyone can submit a report without vetting it, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention researchers have acknowledged “high verification rate of reports of myocarditis to VAERS after mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination,” leading to the conclusion that “under-reporting is more likely” than over-reporting.

But VAERS is not the only data source indicating cause for concern. LifeSiteNews has reported on the forced release of Pfizer data the company had tried to keep sealed until 2076, including reports of 158,893 serious adverse events after vaccination in dozens of countries around the world from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2022. Data from the Pentagon’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) has been similarly alarming.

The Sesame Street tweets elicited sharp criticisms on social media, some taking the form of macabre satire depicting possible outcomes too grim to show on the beloved children’s show:

This is not the first time Sesame Street has been co-opted to push left-wing priorities. Last November, the brand joined left-wing news outlet CNN for “The ABCs of Covid Vaccines — A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Families.” On multiple occasions, the brand has also promoted LGBT “pride.”