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Sundial

Children And The COVID-19 Vaccine, Protests In Colombia, Luther Campbell's Sports Agency

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(Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File) AP
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The Miami Herald
FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer’s COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. On Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, Pfizer said an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.

The FDA approves a COVID-19 vaccine for kids. Protests in Colombia have turned violent and demonstrators have big demands. Plus, Luther Campbell, aka Luke Skywalker, aka Uncle Luke, is launching a new business venture.

On this Monday, May 10, episode of Sundial

Children and the COVID-19 Vaccine

The push to get Americans vaccinated reached a new stage Monday with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12-15.

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“The first sites [to vaccinate 12 to 15 year olds] will be the hospital systems: Holy Cross Memorial Healthcare Systems and Jackson Health Systems,” said Verónica Zaragovia, WLRN’s health care reporter.

Vaccine hesitancy remains high in the U.S., particularly when it comes to parents and their children. A recent survey published in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Vaccine Monitor found 32% of parents want to wait to see how the vaccine works before getting their child the shot.

The results of a clinical trial released in late March with thousands of young teens participating found the vaccine is highly protective against the virus.

“So far, the data that we’ve received has been extremely encouraging. It’s exciting to be able to extend protection to kids ... the only way out of this pandemic is to include children in this vaccine strategy. They still can spread this virus to adults,” said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, who is an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami and president of the Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Children And The COVID-19 Vaccine
To more fully understand vaccine-induced immunity, researchers are comparing antibody levels in people who received the Moderna vaccine but still got COVID-19 with levels in people who got the vaccine but didn't fall ill.

Protests in Colombia

What started as protests over tax reform in Colombia has turned into nearly two weeks of deadly unrest.

At least 26 people have died — hundreds more have been injured.

“The tax hike plan was meant to try to pull Colombia out of the heavy economic damage that has suffered as a result of the pandemic, as have most Latin American countries,” said WLRN’s Americas editor Tim Padgett. “The poor and middle class felt that too much of the tax burden was being put on them.”

President Iván Duque has since withdrawn the proposal and is seeking a new plan with more consensus calling the tax reforms “a necessity.”

Protesters have begun to demand broader reforms. Denouncing corruption, calling for an end to poverty, inequality and improvements in the country’s education and health systems.

The government and some activists say rebel groups have infiltrated the protests and driven the violence. Protesters argue against that and say violence has been incited by police and security forces.

“Nobody wants the violence from either side,” said Colombian expat Fabio Andrade, who is an aviation executive in Weston and met with Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart to talk about the protests Monday. “There’s tremendous need for reform. It was probably not the right time, however, we have to recognize that international interest is there in Colombia.”

Senator Marco Rubio and other Florida Republicans have subscribed to claims that the protests are led by left-wing forces.

Read more about what Colombian expats in South Florida are saying here.

Protests In Colombia
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Luther 'Uncle Luke' Campbell

Beginning this summer, collegiate athletes in Florida should be able to make money off of their name, image and likeness. The new agreement was welcomed by thousands of collegiate athletes playing in Florida, as well as one of their mentors: rapper and activist Luther Campbell.

“Somebody is going to have to be there to monitor those young men and make sure they get from point A to point B, whether it's making an appearance at the phone store or a pizza shop, whether it's doing certain things that they need to do because they've now received these endorsement dollars. And at same time, making sure that social media and all those different things are monitored on a regular basis,” said Campbell.

He was the leader of the legendary group 2 Live Crew and has spent decades as a high school football coach, developing hundreds of players from the Liberty City Warriors. Many have gone on to have successful careers in the NFL, including Chad Johnson, Devonta Freeman and Amari Cooper.

Campbell recently started Luke Management Company, an agency dedicated to representing collegiate and professional players as well as coaches.

Luther Campbell's Sports Agency
A football helmet and football on the football field.

Suria is Sundial's fall 2020 high school intern and a production assistant.
Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.