Elmo is one of the most beloved characters on television.  Heck, how many times have we seen the lines of people waiting to buy the 'tickle me Elmo' toy?  Now Elmo has become political by appearing in a video with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.  In the video, both urge parents and kids to get vaccinated.

Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images

Children's characters should focus on entertaining and education kids, not indoctrinating them on getting shots.  The surgeon general should focus on fighting real life diseases, not forcing parents to go against their religious beliefs.

The lesson here is that the issue of vaccinations is one that should be debated at school board meetings.  If parents have an issue with their kids getting shots, then they should have the freedom to say no.  When we use beloved characters to promote government programs, we devalue their appeal.  Let's keep politics out of the playground and mandatory immunization out of the classroom.