Fort Myers assisted living community among first to get COVID-19 vaccine once available

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NOTE: No COVID-19 vaccine is currently available to the general public on request.

The largest vaccine rollout in history is weeks away, and as it promises to bring us closer to normalcy, it also raises many questions.

Who will be the first in Southwest Florida to receive the vaccine once it arrives?

Mary Franklin, the executive director at Cypress Cove, an assisted living community in Fort Myers, said her residents will be among the first. She learned Wednesday that Cypress Cove has been assigned a partner pharmacy to help them with the vaccine.

“We’re just thankful because our demographic has been hit the hardest,” she said.

“We appreciate that the governor has put us at the forefront of the vaccination program.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he has set aside an extra 500,000 rapid tests to protect seniors in the meantime.

“Over these next few weeks, all long-term care facilities will be able to test all staff, all visitors, and all contractors. We have all longed for the day when our long-term care residents can return to normal and that day is finally within our grasp.”

“It gives everybody a sense of hope. And we all need that, it’s important this time of year. We have something we can grasp on to,” Franklin said.

Along with seniors in long-term care facilities, frontline health care staff and other essential workers will be among the first in the state to get the vaccine. After that, vaccines will go out to other vulnerable seniors, then the Departments of Health to distribute among the general public.

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