News reports from AdventHealth, Iraq, North America Division, Southern Adventist University, Ukraine

AdventHealth Doctor: Give Kids COVID Vaccines a Shot

On Tuesday, an advisory committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) unanimously recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for US kids ages 5 to 11, according to an article from

“Fever is often brought up as a common side effect of COVID vaccination, but among this age group, it really wasn’t much of a factor at all,” said Fatma Levent, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at AdventHealth in Orlando, who is part of the committee. “Kids actually tolerate vaccines really well.”

Levent adds that if a child develops a fever due to their immune response to the vaccine, it’s not going to cause any harm.

The vaccine dosage for children ages 5 to 11 is one-third of the adult dose, or 10 micrograms, compared to 30 micrograms. However, like adults, children will need two doses given approximately three weeks apart to achieve the full 90.7% efficacy rate found in Pfizer’s clinical trials.

Skills to Pay the Bills

The Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists hired Karen Senecal as its new Vice President for Finance. Senecal makes history as the first woman elected to serve in this position at the largest conference in the Columbia Union.

Adventists Put Their Stamp on Iraq

Even to a casual observer, the tiny image of the Baghdad Seventh-day Adventist Church on an Iraqi postage stamp is in itself remarkable — an unexpected gesture of the current Iraqi government to honor the presence of Christian churches in the country and to promote diversity.

The set of eight stamps, which came out in 2020 and was recently presented to leaders of the Middle East and North Africa Union Mission (MENAUM) in Beirut, Lebanon, includes the Baghdad Seventh-day Adventist Church as one of the most beautiful churches in the city. “This is a real honor for our church to be recognized nationally,” said Rick McEdward, president of MENAUM, in an Adventist Review article.

Students Tried to Be Deaf

This year, to celebrate the International Day of Sign Languages, students at the Ukrainian Humanitarian Institute decided to spend 24 hours experiencing life like a deaf person would. As part of the challenge, students could not speak at all for at least a couple of hours; wrote in notes or notebooks when they needed to say something; couldn’t listen to music; watched video without sound, only with subtitles; had to learn dactyl (the alphabet of the deaf) or at least a couple of sign language gestures.
The Ukrainian Humanitarian Institute aims to educate others more about the world of people who cannot hear and speak. Lessons in sign language are also available to everyone.

Former Country Life Natural Foods President Dies From Covid-19

Mark LaVanture, who managed Country Life Natural Foods for 18 years and was active in Adventist-Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI), died on Oct. 8, 2021. He was 68. He and his wife spent countless hours, often with their children, being of service to communities through extensive health education and cooking schools. LaVanture battled Covid-19 for just over eight weeks, spending the last seven weeks of his life at Spectrum Health Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph, Michigan. Other than lung damage from the disease, his organs remained healthy until four days prior to his death when his kidneys began to fail, according to an article in the Lake Union Herald.

Here Comes the Judge

Greg Mathis, who presides over an American syndicated arbitration-based reality court television show, “Judge Mathis,” gave a shout-out to the preaching ministry of Dr. Carlton Byrd, president of the Southwest Region Conference, during his TV show recently. Watch the clip here.

If Strings Are Your Thing…

Southern Adventist University will present its Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Laurie Redmer Cadwallader, in concert on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists. The evening will include Overture Solennelle, op. 73 by Alexander Glazunov; Piano Concerto No. 19 in F major, K. 459 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Alan Nichols, DMA, on piano; and Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 78 by Camille Saint-Saëns, with Adrienne Cox Olson, DMA, on organ.

This event is free and open to the public and also will be livestreamed at For more information, visit or call 423.236.2880.

(Photo: The Iraqi government released a set of 8 stamps, which featured the Baghdad Seventh-day Adventist Church, bottom right,  as one of the most beautiful churches in the city. Photo via screenshot.)

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