FORT MYERS, Fla. — Dozens of children, accompanied by their parents, lined up to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at Golisano Children’s Hospital’s new Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic on Tuesday in Lehigh Acres.
The mobile unit’s first-ever stop, which took place at Family Health Centers, reached families that may not have otherwise been able to receive a vaccination for COVID-19 due to transportation and other factors.
“Through this mobile vaccination clinic, we are creating additional access for children 12 years old and older to be able to get their COVID-19 vaccine,” said Alyssa Bostwick, chief nurse executive and vice president of operations at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “We want to make sure that everyone who wants to be vaccinated has the ability to do so. That’s why we’re taking our COVID-19 vaccination clinic to them. Our goal is to vaccinate as many children as would like to be vaccinated before the next school year starts.”
The Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic is tailored especially for children. It’s staffed with a pediatric registered nurse to administer the vaccine. A special Pain Ease spray is on-hand to put on the injection site to alleviate any discomfort or fear of needles that kids sometimes have. Also, the mobile vaccination unit has a pharmacist, EMT or paramedic, and customer service team to assist in the process.
Anyone is welcome and there is no cost for the vaccine. There are no appointments; the Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic is walk-up only.
“The response we’ve gotten from families on our first stop has been amazing,” said Niki Shimko, supervisor for the pediatric critical care transport team at Golisano and leader of the mobile vaccination clinic. “They’re so appreciative that we’re coming to them. Many of them said they wouldn’t have been able to get a vaccine if it weren’t for this unit.”
The Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic will be traveling the Southwest Florida region with future stops planned in Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres.
The mobile clinic is also partnering with the School District of Lee County to bring the unit to middle and high schools during dismissal and parent pick-up time in case parents would like to get their children vaccinated at those locations. Days and schools will be announced at a later date on www.leehealth.org under the COVID-19 Community Updates section.
Children 12 years and older can receive their COVID-19 vaccine at the Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic. A parent or authorized guardian must accompany a minor for vaccination. The second dose will be set for the same location or one nearby.
The next stop will be at the Family Health Centers in Lehigh Acres on Thursday, May 27, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Additional stops over the next few weeks include:
· Monday, June 7, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Family Health Centers, 4300 Kings Hwy., Ste. 500, Port Charlotte
· Friday, June 11, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Family Health Centers, 316 Del Prado Blvd. South, Cape Coral
· Monday, June 14, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Family Health Centers, 3415 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres
· Thursday, June 17, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Family Health Centers, 3415 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres