By GILLIAN MOHNEY
Turns out even Muppets aren't immune to the need for vaccinations.
In a new video released by the U.S. Health and Human Services, Elmo of “Sesame Street” joined forces with the U.S. Surgeon General to encourage all children to be up to date on their vaccinations.
"I explained to him that, as Surgeon General, it is my job to help everyone stay healthy," U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy said in a statement. "Specifically, Elmo and I talked about the importance of vaccines and making sure that all children are protected from easily preventable diseases."
While a shot may not be fun for a Muppet, even Elmo says he's ready. "Come on everybody get vaccinated with Elmo!" he said in the video.
The video was released the same day that the California State Department of Health declared the end of a recent measles outbreak that infected 147 people in the United States, with 131 people sickened in California alone.
A bill is pending in the California state legislature that would stop parents from seeking personal or religious belief exemptions that would allow their children to attend school without being vaccinated.
While nationwide the rate of vaccination remains high, pockets of unvaccinated people have led to recent outbreaks of diseases formerly thought of as eliminated or extremely rare.
Vaccines helped stop 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths of children in the United States from 1994 to 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.