Lee County taking reservations for 1,800 more COVID-19 vaccinations this week

The Florida Department of Health vaccinated 5,000 people last week and is expected…

Lee County taking reservations for 1,800 more COVID-19 vaccinations this week

Frank Gluck
 
| Fort Myers News-Press

Lee County taking reservations for 1,800 more COVID-19 vaccinations this week 1

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Lee County public health officials on Tuesday said there is enough COVID-19 vaccine to schedule an additional 1,800 shots this week at the inoculation site near Southwest Florida International Airport.

Those hoping to schedule should call 866-200-3468 at noon on Wednesday. But, as has been the case, reservation slots are expected to be claimed within minutes.

County officials took reservations for 5,000 available vaccinations last week, and all 5,000 were given last week, according to county spokeswoman Betsy Clayton.

The county has 9,000 doses available this week, but 7,200 of those have been allotted to people who called last week. On Tuesday, the county announced the remaining 1,800 would be available for reservations Wednesday.

Related coverage: Lee County manager: COVID-19 vaccine rollout is ‘not going to be pretty for a while’

More: Lee County’s vaccine reservation call line shuts down in 3 minutes after scheduling 5,000 shots

After those are provided, the county will not have any more until additional shipments until likely next week, county officials said.

Many of the region’s seniors have complained that the call-in reservation system was confusing, since most calls were dropped or resulted in busy signals. The call center vendor, Tidal Basin, has since said that it has expanded its calling capacity and improved its reservation system.

County Manager Roger Desjarlais told The Washington Post over the weekend that the system fielded more than 1.5 million calls during a half-hour period last week. On Monday, he warned that the vaccine rollout is “not going to be pretty for a while.”

Vaccines are available for people age 65 and older and frontline medical workers. The vaccination site is located at the old airport terminal parking lot east of Interstate 75, off of Daniels Parkway.

Only those with reservations may get vaccinated. Those who have won such slots should arrive no more than 45 minutes before their assigned vaccination time. The county said to expect lines; this is not a drive-through site.

Social distancing and masks are encouraged. Portable toilets, hand washing stations, drinking water and some chairs will be available. Recreational vehicles, campers or trailers are not permitted. Only service animals will be permitted in the vaccination area.

For more information, visit leegov.com/vaccine. The United Way 2-1-1 hotline is also available to answer general questions, though it may not be used to make reservations.  

As of Jan. 8, more than 20,000 shots had been administered to frontline medical workers and 65-plus seniors by the Florida Department of Health and the Lee Health hospital system.

Lee County is home to more than 770,000 people, roughly 230,000 of whom are 65 or older.

Frank Gluck is a watchdog reporter with The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. Connect with him at fgluck@news-press.com or on Twitter: @FrankGluck

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