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Here are some of the top stories from the last week from NBC 6 News:
Critics Question Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Readiness as COVID-19 Claims Come In
As millions of Americans roll up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccine, the News4 I-Team has learned that coronavirus-related claims are already being filed in a federal program to compensate those who suffer severe injuries or reactions. But the agency that runs the program has refused to say how many or what those injuries are.
“It’s always been so secretive, and I don’t know why,” said Peter Meyers, former director of The George Washington University Law School’s Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic.
Meyers worries the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) is unprepared to handle a pandemic and vaccine of this magnitude. In the past, it’s only been used for things like H1N1 and smallpox — nothing that’s affected the entire population.
UM Researchers Say They’ve Detected Brazil, California and U.K. Variants in South Florida Covid Samples
Researchers at the University of Miami say that they have detected variants from California, Brazil and the U.K. in South Florida over the last two weeks.
According to a press release, a team at the Miller School of Medicine has tested nearly 500 positive COVID-19 samples from patients at UHealth Tower, Jackson Memorial hospitals, and UM’s campus.
They found that approximately 25% of infected patients in Miami-Dade over the last two weeks “were stricken with the more contagious U.K. variant.”
A number of new COVID-19 vaccine sites are opening in Florida for minority communities.
New Walk-Up Vaccine Sites Aimed at Reducing Racial Disparities in Dose Distribution
Seemingly overnight, a vaccination site popped up Thursday in Overtown, the heart of Miami’s Black community.
The site allows anyone 65 and older to walk in without an appointment and get a dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
The public learned of it Thursday morning when Gov. Ron DeSantis announced six new sites that would be opening statewide. They include the Overtown site, at 1551 NW 1st Avenue; one at Broward College; and another at Oak Grove Park, at 690 NE 159th St. near North Miami Beach.
Miami Beach officials are imposing safety measures amid spring break season. NBC 6’s Stephanie Bertini reports
Nearly 400 Arrests Made in Miami Beach Amid Spring Break Crackdown: Mayor
Nearly 400 arrests have been made in Miami Beach in less than three weeks amid enhanced safety measures to crack down on spring break crime and keep COVID-19 from spreading.
The 397 arrests, made from Feb. 3 to 21, include 129 felonies, 145 misdemeanors, according to figures released by Mayor Dan Gelber Friday.
“That’s a lot for any city especially one our size,” Gelber said. “Unfortunately, our city has become a magnet for people from all parts of the state and beyond. Too many people looking to act out.”
A South Florida man is relearning how to walk after he caught five mosquito-borne illnesses. NBC 6’s Nathalia Ortiz reports
Man Walks Again After Recovering From Five Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Taking a walk around the block is nothing to write home about for most people, but for Brett Rose, it is quite an accomplishment.
He recently re-learned how to walk after he was infected with a cocktail of diseases, none of which were COVID-19.
“Went to bed on a Friday night and woke up Saturday paralyzed from the chest down,” Rose said.