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Sesame Street: Big Bird Gets the COVID-19 Vaccine Video

"Will It Hurt?": Big Bird Spoke to 2 Doctors on Sesame Street Before Getting the COVID Vaccine

Now that the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 has been approved for children 5 to 11 years old, it might be tricky to get your little one mentally prepared for the shot. On Nov. 8, Sesame Street hosted a COVID-19 town hall for parents and kids to answer any questions and address any concerns about getting vaccinated. Speaking to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Erica Hill on Monday, Big Bird nervously voiced his fears ahead of his vaccine appointment: "I'm a little scared to get the shot 'cause I don't like needles. Will it hurt?"

"My wing is feeling a little sore, but it'll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy."

Big Bird definitely isn't the only kid worried about getting shots, but Dr. Hill chimed in with some helpful advice. "It's OK to be scared and to have some of those big feelings, Big Bird," she assured him, adding that adults don't like needles either. "One thing that I find [helpful] is maybe singing a song to distract yourself — maybe the 'ABCs' — while you're getting your shot." Hopping in to share a tip of his own, Dr. Gupta added, "I like to bring something from home that might make me feel safe, like a favorite toy maybe. I also take three big breaths and then think about all the fun things I can do after I get the vaccine."

Big Bird's friend Rosita, who'd just gotten her COVID-19 vaccine, also hopped on the call to explain that she was scared to get her shot but it flew by and she hardly felt a thing. "Before I knew it, the shot was over and I had this cool vaccine Band-Aid on my arm," she said. "I barely felt it, and my arm only hurts a little." With this helpful advice from Rosita, Dr. Gupta, and Dr. Hill, Big Bird headed to his vaccine appointment with Granny Bird and his teddy bear best friend, Radar.

At the end of the episode, Big Bird checked back in and showed off his colorful new bandage, saying, "I feel OK. My wing hurts a little bit, but that's OK. Ya know, I was scared, but it did go by really quickly, and Radar and my belly breathing really helped." In a tweet posted later in the day, he added, "I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it'll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy. Ms. @EricaRHill even said I've been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!"

In addition to keeping himself safe, Big Bird's grandma reminded him that getting his first dose of the vaccine puts him one step closer to ensuring the safety of his friends and loved ones, as well. "You both did great, and by getting the vaccine, you'll be helping keep yourself, our friends and neighbors, and me safe and healthy," Granny Bird said. "Your wing might hurt for a day or two, Big Bird, and you might feel a bit tired, but I'm so proud of you, my grandson."

See Sesame Street's informative Q&A with Dr. Hill and Dr. Gupta here.

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