FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Lee County will be offering to vaccinate front-line healthcare workers and people over the age of 65 for free. The Department of Health will offer the vaccine at several locations across the county from Monday, December 28 through Wednesday, December 30. Healthcare expert Robert Hawkes says this is good news for at-risk populations.
"People that have underlying heart issues, respiratory issues, diabetes, things like that, those are the people over the age of 65 that we really want to make sure are going to be getting the vaccine, sooner, within the next several weeks," says Hawkes, Director of the Physician Assistant program at Florida Gulf Coast University.
One woman we spoke to says she hopes to be first in line "Yes, I am willing. I would like to be the first in line," says Vivian Mayes. "I take the flu shot every year, and we take all kinds of vaccines, so I'm used to it. I'm ready!" But her excitement isn't shared by all in her age group. "No, no, no. I think it's right that we go ahead and let the healthier people test it," says Rick Veasey.
Medical experts say the vaccine is perfectly safe as long as you are not currently experiencing symptoms of the virus." Whenever anyone gets a vaccine, we want to make sure that they're not already feeling sick; they're not ill. Do they have a fever? Because if they have a fever or a cold, if they're having symptoms of covid, we don't want to give them the vaccine at that time, because that can overwhelm their immune system," says Hawkes.
The Department of Health will have a limit of 300 shots available at each location and says that no appointment is required to get your vaccination.
The full list of locations and times are on their website at leegov.com