Have questions about COVID-19 vaccine in Lee, Collier? Here’s what we know

Answers to reader questions about where COVID-19 vaccines are available, residency requirements and…

Have questions about COVID-19 vaccine in Lee, Collier? Here’s what we know

Thaddeus Mast

Jake Allen
 
| Fort Myers News-Press

Have questions about COVID-19 vaccine in Lee, Collier? Here's what we know 1

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COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Estero

About 300 people lined up by 8:30 a.m. Monday for the COVID-19 vaccine, equal to the number of doses available at the Estero Park and Rec Center.

Michael Braun, MBRAUN@NEWS-PRESS.COM

Lee County began distributing a COVID-19 vaccine Monday morning to people age 65 and older. With less than a 24-hour notice, hundreds of people lined up outside the Estero Park and Recreation Center for a chance to be vaccinated against the disease. 

The trend continued into Wednesday. All sites were at capacity before vaccinations were to begin, according to the Florida Department of Health-Lee County.

Additional sites are expected to open next week, the agency tweeted.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 2,944 people have received a vaccine dose as of Dec. 29 in Lee County. The state began distributing doses to hospitals two weeks ago. Monday marked the first day it was made available to the public.

Lining up early: Line forms night before start of COVID-19 vaccine shot distribution in Lee County

The Florida Department of Health-Collier County received 3,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine and is set to begin distribution on Jan. 3, county officials announced.

Here are some questions from readers about who qualifies for vaccination and how the process works.

This story will be updated to reflect the latest information available. Email questions to tmast@gannett.com.

Who is eligible for the vaccine in Florida?

Frontline healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and staff and people 65 and older qualify for the first round of doses, according to a Dec. 23 executive order by Gov. Ron DeSantis

The vaccine is free.

Lee County: Vaccine information webpage

Collier County: Department of Health website

When and where are the vaccines being distributed to seniors in Lee County?

The Florida Department of Health-Lee County said new sites are planned for next week. The agency has yet to announce where and when.

Do I have to be a Lee County resident to get vaccinated in the county? 

No. At a press conference Tuesday, Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane, chairman of the board, said the county cannot turn away anyone who meets the age requirement because the vaccine comes from the federal government. 

Ruane encouraged out-of-county residents to get the vaccination in their own counties. 

“We are asking them not to come, but, obviously, it’s a federal program, so we can’t turn away anyone … that’s over 65,” Ruane said.  

Do I have to fill out a form before I get my vaccine in Lee County?

To expedite the process you can find it here and at the link below. Lee County says you can print the vaccine screening and consent form and bring it with you to the site.

Lee County:Vaccination form

Where can I find more information about Lee County’s vaccine plans?

The United Way 211 line is taking calls from people with questions related to the vaccine and its rollout. People can call 239-433-3900 or dial 2-1-1.

Has Collier County announced its vaccination plan?

Yes. DOH-Collier County said Wednesday that it has received 3,500 doses.

The county said it would begin administering doses on Jan. 3 by appointment scheduled through Eventbrite.

Nursing homes and hospitals are receiving direct shipments of vaccines for their residents and frontline healthcare workers.

More: Collier to start vaccinations by appointment after shipment of 3,500 Moderna vaccines

What vaccine is being offered right now, and is a second dose needed?

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose series separated by 28 days. Florida Department of Health in Lee County officials asked residents to stay in the area to receive their second dose.

Lee County said vaccine brands cannot be mixed. Someone who receives a first dose of Moderna in Lee County must get a second Moderna dose within the allotted days.

What should healthcare workers bring with them to prove employment?

Healthcare workers need to provide a valid employee ID or a current pay stub.

Are the Lee County vaccine distribution sites drive-thru?

No. The vaccine sites are set up to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Thaddeus Mast is a south Lee County reporter for the Naples Daily News and The Banner. Support his work by subscribing to our local news organization. Find him on Twitter as @thaddeusmast.

Have questions about COVID-19 vaccine in Lee, Collier? Here's what we know 2

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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine authorized by FDA for emergency use in US

The FDA has authorized Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the U.S. The first shots of the vaccine are expected to be given Monday.

USA TODAY

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