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Vaccines for kids, Florida's lawsuit over vaccine mandates, and the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors

Leo Johnson, 8, high-fives pharmacist Maylen Mesa at a Walgreens in Miami, Florida after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
Matias J. Ocner
Miami Herald
Leo Johnson, 8, high-fives pharmacist Maylen Mesa at a Walgreens in Miami, Florida after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.

Medical experts discuss children receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Also, Florida sues the Biden administration over mandatory workplace vaccines. Plus, two granddaughters of Holocaust survivors continue educating people.

On this Tuesday, Nov. 9, edition of Sundial:

Vaccines for children

COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for children five years of age and older, but some parents are hesitant. About one-third of American parents say they will wait to see how well the vaccine works before they get their child vaccinated, according to a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Dr. Marcos Mestre is a pediatrics specialist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. He joined Sundial to answer parents’ questions and ease vaccination hesitancy.

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Mestre said people shouldn’t only focus on the likelihood of a child dying from COVID-19, which is less than a 1% chance.

“Even though it’s not that the child could die, but they could have long-term implications on it,” Mestre said. “On top of that, we now know that the children can spread the virus to others.”

He also said this vaccine is a lower dose compared to the ones given to people twelve and older.

“This vaccine has been very safe, it’s been very effective,” Mestre said. “That dose was 30 micrograms where this dose is 10 micrograms, so a third of the dose.”

Vaccines for children

Florida lawsuit over federal vaccine mandates

More than two dozen states are planning to sue the Biden administration over the federal workplace vaccine mandate, which the administration announced last week. The order has been blocked by a federal appeals court.

There are different mandates the White House is pushing which include mandates for federal contractors, healthcare workers at Medicare and Medicaid facilities, and workers at companies with more than 100 employees.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that the state would take legal action to challenge the order. Private companies and religious organizations have also joined the legal battle.

POLITICO reporter Gary Fineout covers Florida politics and mentioned the state Legislature's upcoming special session, starting Nov. 15, to incorporate laws related to vaccine mandates.

“The main bill that’s coming up next week is not a blanket ban on vaccine mandates for private employers,” said Fineout. “Instead, it says if you are a private employer and you want to oppose vaccine mandates, you have to have a series of exemptions.”

He added that some of those exemptions are similar to the federal ones such as providing testing or masks. There are also religious and medical exemptions.

Florida lawsuit over federal vaccine mandates

Grandchildren of Holocaust survivors

South Florida is home to some of the last living people who survived the Holocaust. As they get older, it's harder for them to travel around the region to share their stories about what they experienced so long ago.

Many Holocaust survivors are now in their 80s, 90s, or close to 100 years old. Some of their grandchildren have decided to carry on their legacies.

3GMiami, or 3rd generation Miami, is a group that trains grandchildren of Holocaust survivors for public speaking engagements to help continue educating others on what occurred during the Holocaust.

Julie Paresky and Stephanie Rosen are both granddaughters of Holocaust survivors and the co-founders of 3GMiami.

Sun Sentinel
Stephanie Rosen, the co-founder of 3GMiami, virtually shared her grandparents' story of surviving the Holocaust with students at Coral Reef High School in Miami.

Tuesday marks the 83rd anniversary of what historians call Kristallnacht or the “Night of Broken Glass.” The Nazi army torched and attacked Jewish synagogues, businesses, and homes in Germany.

Rosen said her grandparents had a tailor store in the heart of Berlin during the Kristallnacht attacks.

“They got very scared at that time and they left and they spent the entire time of the Holocaust one step ahead of the Nazis,” said Rosen said. “Always running through Europe, separating, hiding, splitting up, sending their kids away until the war was over.”

Paresky’s grandparents, who were also very frightened, weren’t able to move to North America shortly after Kristallnacht. They left Berlin and struggled to survive as they hid throughout Europe.

Grandchildren of Holocaust survivors

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Amber Amortegui is a senior studying journalism at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Born and raised in Davie, Fla., Amber is a native South Floridian who embraces one of America’s most diverse regions.