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Kids’ COVID vaccines, Russia-Ukraine war, Rep. Cawthorn cited : NPR

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Russia has had an entire lot of leverage over Europe within the type of vitality. It’s the greatest provider of pure fuel to the EU.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

And now Russian President Vladimir Putin is utilizing that leverage as payback for Europe’s help of Ukraine within the battle. Russia’s nationwide vitality firm launched a press release saying they’ve minimize off pure fuel provides to Poland and Bulgaria. In the meantime, heavy preventing continues within the east and the south of Ukraine. After a gathering with Putin, the U.N. secretary normal mentioned he was hopeful civilians will have the ability to escape safely.

MARTIN: NPR’s Brian Mann is within the port metropolis of Odesa on the Black Sea, and he joins us now. Good morning, Brian.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: Hello, Rachel.

MARTIN: What is that this aggressive transfer by Russia in the case of oil and fuel shipments to Europe? Inform us about the place the diplomacy is true now.

MANN: Yeah, look – I imply, Moscow is taking part in hardball right here. They rejected a name for a cease-fire, and as you say, they’re reducing these oil and fuel provides to punish European nations serving to Ukraine. Pure fuel futures shot up as a consequence. U.N. officers say they did get an settlement in precept to some type of evacuation plan, however, Rachel, we have seen this type of assertion repeatedly, and it is by no means come to something. Russian assaults on an industrial web site in Mariupol, the place Ukrainians are nonetheless preventing, these assaults have continued and been intense.

MARTIN: In order talked about, you are in Odesa. There are one million individuals who dwell in that metropolis. You’ve got had missile assaults there. What is the state of affairs at this level?

MANN: It is tense. The Russian military is about 3 hours away to the east. There was one other cruise missile strike right here over the weekend that killed a younger mom and her 3-month-old baby. Their funeral is being held at the moment. And for the primary time in weeks, we’re seeing some folks deciding to evacuate.

MARTIN: Odesa is a metropolis that’s largely Russian-speaking, proper? And now there’s a dialogue over what meaning and what to do about outstanding Russian statues and monuments. Are you able to clarify what’s taking place there?

MANN: Yeah, that is so sophisticated and engaging. Along with the language right here, lots of people have deep household and historic ties to Russia. There’s this huge statue right here to the Russian Empress Catherine the Nice, who’s now seen by many Ukrainians as an oppressor. I spoke about all this with Atem Dorokhov (ph). He is a younger Russian speaker concerned on this debate. He says with Russia’s military on their doorstep, it is time to reevaluate these Russian monuments. He compares the talk right here to the struggle over Accomplice monuments within the American South.

ATEM DOROKHOV: The U.S. instance was superb – superb. The historical past could be very sophisticated with plenty of oppression, plenty of mass killings – identical right here. Ukrainian tradition has been oppressed by Russia over a whole bunch of years.

MANN: And what struck me as astonishing about this, Rachel, is that Ukrainians are managing to ask these questions and have this debate whereas they’re in the course of this battle.

FADEL: Proper.

MANN: I spoke about this with Volodymyr Yermolenko. He is one among Ukraine’s main journalists and philosophers. His first language is Russian. However he advised me, yeah, it is time for cities like Odesa to start shifting away from Russia’s cultural influences.

VOLODYMYR YERMOLENKO: They need to be within the Ukrainian cultural data house and never within the Russian cultural data house, you realize? Which means the music that you simply take heed to, meaning the films that you simply watch, the books that you simply learn.

MANN: And, you realize, that will sound harsh, rejecting Russian tradition in that manner, however folks inform me that is one other unintended consequence of Vladimir Putin’s invasion. A metropolis like Odesa, with these deep, lengthy ties to Russia, might nicely wind up way more deeply built-in into Ukrainian society.

MARTIN: NPR’s Brian Mann. Brian, thanks for all of your reporting this morning. We admire it.

MANN: Thanks, Rachel.

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MARTIN: OK, new CDC knowledge exhibits 3 out of each 4 youngsters on this nation have had COVID-19.

FADEL: The research comes as Pfizer and BioNTech request authorization from the Meals and Drug Administration for the primary booster for youngsters ages 5 to 11. A two-dose Pfizer vaccine was licensed for youths in that age group again in October. And Moderna can be anticipated to hunt authorization for the primary vaccine for youngsters youthful than 5 any day now.

MARTIN: Any day now. NPR well being correspondent Rob Stein joins us to speak about all this stuff. Hey, Rob.

ROB STEIN, BYLINE: Hey. Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: All proper. Earlier than we get to the vaccine information, let’s begin with this new knowledge from the CDC about how many individuals, together with children, have been contaminated with the virus at this level. What does it say?

STEIN: , Rachel, does it really feel like virtually everybody you realize has gotten COVID-19 by now? Nicely, you realize, this…

MARTIN: Lots (laughter).

STEIN: Yeah, completely. Nicely, this knowledge is the explanation – that claims that there is a good purpose for that. The CDC says that the omicron variant unfold so quick this winter that nearly 60% of everybody within the U.S. has antibodies to the virus of their blood. And that quantity is even increased for youths, virtually 75% of children ages 11 and youthful. And meaning lots of people have no less than some immunity at this level and helps clarify why the U.S. hasn’t skilled yet one more huge surge but.

MARTIN: OK. So 75% of children have antibodies. So what does that imply? Do these children actually need to get vaccinated or boosted?

STEIN: , the CDC says sure, completely. To start with, one-quarter of children nonetheless have no immunity. And the CDC says vaccination supplies even stronger, maybe broader safety for individuals who have already gotten contaminated. So the CDC is annoyed that the majority dad and mom nonetheless have not received their children vaccinated or boosted.

MARTIN: All proper, let’s discuss boosters. Children ages 12 and older are already eligible. However now Pfizer and BioNTech need the FDA to OK a booster for youthful children, too, proper?

STEIN: Yeah, yeah. The businesses say a 3rd shot six months after the second shot seems to be secure for youths ages 5 to 11 and might pump up antibodies sharply, particularly antibodies that may struggle off the omicron variant. Now, there is a little bit of combined opinion amongst impartial consultants about whether or not children ages 5 to 11 want a booster but. Some say, look – safety from two photographs clearly weakens because the months go by, particularly towards omicron. And whereas children do not are likely to get as sick as adults, COVID can nonetheless pose a hazard to children. So we should always do all the pieces doable to guard them, particularly now that nobody’s sporting masks, and the numbers are creeping up once more. However others argue two photographs are nonetheless preserving children from getting significantly in poor health. And the proof boosters are undoubtedly wanted now simply is not there but. So the FDA should resolve who’s proper.

MARTIN: So I made a quip on the prime as a result of dad and mom of actually younger children have simply been ready for thus lengthy.

STEIN: Yeah.

MARTIN: And the information headlines for months have been like, it is virtually going to occur; it is virtually going to occur.

STEIN: Yeah.

MARTIN: So now the most recent incremental transfer right here – Moderna is predicted to ask the FDA to authorize a vaccine for youths youthful than 5. Is that this actually going to occur, Rob?

STEIN: Yeah, you realize, the low-dose pediatric vaccine seems to be secure and might increase antibodies to ranges equal to the grownup vaccine for youths as younger as 6 months previous. That mentioned, the proof Moderna has launched thus far signifies that the safety continues to be not that nice towards omicron. In order that’s raised questions on whether or not three doses are actually wanted. Like, you realize, that is what occurred with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. So whereas officers had been hoping to get a vaccine for these youngest children by this month, it now seems to be just like the FDA is not going to take this up till June. So, you realize, we’ll have to attend and see now, nonetheless.

MARTIN: NPR well being correspondent Rob Stein. Thanks, Rob.

STEIN: Positive factor, Rachel.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn was stopped on the airport in Charlotte yesterday after authorities discovered a loaded handgun in his bag.

FADEL: Cawthorn received a quotation for possession of a harmful weapon on metropolis property after which launched. And it is not the primary time Cawthorn has been stopped by the TSA for bringing a gun to an airport. The freshman Republican has been concerned in a number of public security violations since taking workplace.

MARTIN: Jeanne Davis of member station WFAE in Charlotte joins us this morning. Hey, Jeanne.

JEANNE DAVIS, BYLINE: Hello.

MARTIN: Simply inform us what went down.

DAVIS: Yeah, so he was going by way of safety on the Charlotte airport on Tuesday, you realize, dropped his bag onto the X-ray conveyor belt. And, you realize, that is when a TSA officer spied a loaded 9 mm handgun. And so usually when this occurs, you realize, a TSA agent will summon a police officer on the, you realize, safety checkpoint to examine the bag. And on this case, the officer discovered the gun, and Consultant Cawthorn was – he was given a quotation, such as you mentioned, however was not arrested, although police did confiscate the gun, and he was allowed to proceed on his manner. Yeah, in a information launch, the police division mentioned anybody who brings a weapon to the airport is simply cited for a misdemeanor slightly than being arrested. And that is until, you realize, there’s excellent warrants or different extenuating circumstances. And thus far, we have not heard from the congressman straight about what occurred, and his spokesman has not replied with a remark.

MARTIN: Huh. I imply, yeah, we all know – I imply, I assume I am combating the truth that everyone knows the principles, proper?

DAVIS: (Laughter).

MARTIN: I imply, I can not even take peanut butter by way of the TSA screening machines, not to mention a weapon. This isn’t the primary time Cawthorn has tried to take a gun by way of airport safety, and there have been different incidents involving public security, as Leila famous. Are you able to inform us about these?

DAVIS: Yeah. So in Asheville final yr on the airport there in western North Carolina, the place his district is, we do not know if it is the identical gun on this case, however, you realize, in contrast to in Charlotte, he wasn’t cited, and it is probably not clear why. Additionally, final fall, he introduced knives to 2 completely different college board conferences, a North Carolina faculty and a personal Okay-12 college, all within the span of beneath a month. And since he is, you realize, taken workplace final yr, he is gotten three rushing tickets.

MARTIN: I imply, perhaps rushing tickets apart, however these different situations of bringing weapons – I imply, is he attempting to make some extent? I imply, how a lot of that is political? He is received a major subsequent month, proper?

DAVIS: Yeah. North Carolina’s eleventh District – that is the one he represents – they’ve a major in three weeks. And, you realize, this can be a rural district. There’s not plenty of polling. So it is laborious to inform how this has impacted it. And – nevertheless it’s been one occasion after one other producing these form of, like, destructive headlines. He’s working towards seven different folks within the GOP major. He is, you realize, an outspoken supporter of President Trump and has been endorsed by him for reelection. The purpose for his opponents, although, might be to maintain him beneath that 30% to place him in a runoff and beat him later this summer time. , Republican U.S. Senator Thom Tillis is backing one among his opponents on this race. However I’ll say Congressman Cawthorn has carried out one thing, you realize, few Republican Home members are in a position to do, and that is get identify recognition and plenty of media consideration, although not all the time for the most effective causes.

MARTIN: Jeanne Davis, a reporter with member station WFAE in Charlotte. Thanks. We admire your reporting on this.

DAVIS: Thanks.

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