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Sesame Street's Big Bird has been accused of spreading "propaganda" by a Texas senator after the cartoon muppet announced it had been vaccinated against COVID-19.
It comes after the US approved the Pfizer vaccine for five- to 11-year-olds.
Writing on Twitter, the giant yellow bird - who is eternally six years old - said: "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!"
However, Senator Ted Cruz - who is vaccinated, and has previously said "I believe in vaccines" - responded with: "Government propaganda ... for your 5 year old!"
A number of American rightwingers piled in, with Steve Cortes, a host on the conservative Newsmax network, adding: "This kind of propaganda is actually evil."
Lisa Boothe, a Fox News contributor, accused the television animal of "brainwashing children who are not at risk of COVID."
However, this is misleading as children are still at risk from the virus, although less so than adults.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as of 28 October, 6.4 million children have had the virus, and account for 16% of all coronavirus cases.
Data from the American Centre for Disease Control found at least 471 children aged between five and 11 have died with coronavirus.
Mr Cruz's comments have come under criticism, with Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg responding: "Ted Cruz is doing the job of our enemies by spreading more disinformation that's killed over 200,000 Americans this year.
"I can not believe an actual sitting senator would tweet this."
He later added: "If you start attacking Big Bird I think that's a pretty clear sign you're on the wrong side of history."
Other characters have also joined in with Big Bird's vaccination drive, with Sesame Street's Rosita getting her first dose of the jab.
It is also not the first time Sesame Street has encouraged vaccination, with Big Bird telling children "don't wait, vaccinate" against the measles in 1972.
US President Joe Biden described the decision to vaccinate the 28 million people aged between five and 11 as a "turning point" in the pandemic.
He said: "It will allow parents to end months of anxious worrying about their kids, and reduce the extent to which children spread the virus to others.
"It is a major step forward for our nation in our fight to defeat the virus."