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Big Bird telling kids about vaccination brings claims of ‘propaganda,’ sparking culture war

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Sesame Street characters Cookie Monster (L) and Big Bird attend HBO Premiere of Sesame Street's The Magical Wand Chase at the Metrograph on November 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for HBO)

Big Bird is suddenly at the center of the U.S. vaccine debate, and culture wars, for representing health science and telling children that he has been vaccinated.

Sen. Ted Cruz, and others, accused the decades-long yellow avian icon, for spreading government propaganda. In a, well, in a tweet, Big Bird said his after getting a shot his wing is a little sore “but it’ll give my body an extra protective boosts that keeps me and others healthy.”

The response from Cruz was to call it, “Government propaganda…for your 5 year old!” on Twitter. He followed that up with a video of Big Bird breaking down a door and captioned it “Big Bird coming over to vaccinate your kids.”

The Big Bird tweet was part a question-and-answer session about the COVID-19 vaccine for parents and children, done in conjunction with CNN. As Twitter account Muppet Wiki pointed out, the ageless bird first was vaccinated and covered the topic in 1972. In that episode he used the “DON’T WAIT – VACCINATE” slogan. As CNN points out, other icons to support vaccination include droids from the Star Wars film franchise C3PO and R2D2.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the OK to the Pfizer-BioNTech shot for children ages 5 – 11 on Oct. 29.

Meanwhile, as both sides fire criticism back and forth, a Big Bird for Senate parody account now has more than 40,000 followers. It has predictably been taking shots at Cruz.

Big Bird, ageless on television, is meant to represent a 6-year-old. As a function of the show, this allows him to learn new information at a child’s level on “Sesame Street.” In the latest endorsement of vaccinations and the science behind them, it was Big Bird’s grandmother who said Big Bird would be getting vaccinated.

The show has been talking about COVID-19 according to NBC, while it teaches children about masks, staying healthy and yes, vaccines.

Political sides are accusing the other of getting worked into a fervor over the Big Bird controversy.

COVID-19 has killed more than 752,196 U.S. residents at press time, according the government tracking page. It has made many others sick both long and short term. Others have only mild symptoms after infection.

For more information from the Center for Disease Control on the COVID-19 vaccines, please visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html

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