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Sundial

Kids and COVID vaccines, bridging two communities with a park, ‘The Vet at Noah’s Ark’

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Courtesy of Douglas Mader
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Veterinarian Dr. Douglas Mader is the author of a book called 'The Vet At Noah’s Ark, Stories of Survival From An Inner City Animal Hospital.'

Parents have questions about the COVID vaccine for their children. Plus, a big construction project bridging two communities. And one of the Florida Keys' few veterinarians published a new book.

On this Tuesday, June 28, edition of Sundial:

Kids and COVID vaccines

Children under five years old are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Florida missed the initial deadline to pre-order those doses for children. However, providers, like family doctors and retail pharmacies, have ordered some vaccines. Kids in that age group in South Florida have already started to receive doses.

But demand is still low, and some doctors say a bulk of those vaccines are going to waste.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend the vaccine for kids, but Florida’s health department is not recommending it for healthy children — that contrast can be confusing for parents.

Dr. Brandon Chatani, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Holtz Children's Hospital at the University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Medical Center, joined Sundial to discuss what parents and caregivers should know about the COVID vaccines for kids and how to talk to children about it.

Jackson Health System and UHealth are offering COVID-19 vaccines to children 6 months and older via a pediatric mobile clinic in rotating locations throughout Miami-Dade County. On Wednesday, June 29, it will be at Alamo Park at Jackson Memorial Hospital from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kids and COVID vaccines
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Bridging two communities with a park 

No matter where you live and commute to and from — if you've tried to take I-395 to Miami Beach in the last several months, you've noticed all the construction near the Adrienne Arsht Center. You can't miss it.

In a few years that will be where Miami's new signature bridge begins. If you haven't seen what those plans look like — it's big. See more images here.

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Courtesy of FDOT
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The I-395/SR 836/I-95 Project is a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX).

But we're not talking about the bridge — more about what will be underneath it.

The Underdeck is a working title for a new park that will be built underneath the signature bridge. And that’s what this story is really all about … the hopes that a park can be the 'bridge' that brings two historically different communities together — Overtown and Downtown Miami.

“Aspirationally, this is a connector. It will connect Historic Overtown to the bay. To be honest with you. It will connect communities. It will symbolically create a space that speaks to this whole issue of inclusivity. It will speak to it being a place that is for, I like to say, Lottie, Dottie and everybody,” said Dr. Nelson Adams on Sundial. He is an OBGYN and on the board of the Town Square Neighborhood Development Committee in Overtown.

This initiative is set in the shadows of I-95 being built in the middle of the historically Black neighborhood of Overtown, and the negative impacts of that still linger today, said Adams.

Jessica Goldman-Srebnick, Co-Chair of Goldman Properties and CEO of Goldman Global Arts, who is involved in the project, also joined Sundial for this conversation.

The project is set to be completed by Summer 2026.

Bridging two communities with a park
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‘The Vet at Noah’s Ark’

Imagine you are a veterinarian. And a couple walks into your office. They put a large iguana on the table. It’s sick, and they are caressing it and kissing it, much like a dog or cat owner would their pet.

Something is wrong with their baby.

That has been the life of retired veterinarian Douglas Mader. He spent the early part of his career as a vet in Los Angeles before opening an office in The Keys, one of the few veterinarians there.

He joined Sundial to discuss his recently published book called ‘The Vet At Noah’s Ark, Stories of Survival From An Inner City Animal Hospital.’

Douglas is no longer practicing in his veterinary office in The Keys. But his office played an important role in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in 2017 as a shelter and the only medical facility in operation in the area. In addition to treating injured animals, they also helped people who needed medical attention after the storm.

‘The Vet at Noah’s Ark’
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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.
Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, currently leads the WLRN Newsroom as Interim Managing Editor. Prior to transitioning to leadership from production, Caitie reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News for four years.