People camp out to get COVID-19 vaccine in Lehigh Acres

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
People wait in line outside East County Regional Library Monday night, Dec. 28, 2020 in hopes to be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. Credit: WINK News.

At least 10 people were camping out in Lehigh Acres Monday night in hopes to be first in line for round two of coronavirus vaccines at East County Regional Library Tuesday.

The lines became so long in Estero Monday, the health department had to turn people away.

The first couple we spoke to in the Lehigh Acres line told us they arrived at the site at 1:30 p.m. They said they haven’t seen their kids in almost a year

The next person in line, Frank Conway, told us he was celebrating his 78th birthday, and a vaccine would be the best gift yet.

When our crew was at the site in Estero, a sign read “no more vaccines.”

“We couldn’t get anywhere near this place,” said John Stone, who has not yet been vaccinated. “There must have been a thousand cars here.”

Faces we saw showed plenty of disappointment.

“I have a defibrillator in my chest. I am a Type 2 diabetic,” Stone explained. “Have all the reasons to get it.”

Dozens of people like Stone left the Estero Park and Recreation Center without a vaccine Monday with thoughts of loved ones they miss and the places they can’t go.

“We’ll be patient. It’ll show up. We’ll get it,” said Dawn McKay, who has not been vaccinated yet. “It’s either that, or we’re going to live in a cave, and we won’t be able to do anything.”

There are no more vaccines available at the Estero site for now, but it’s just getting started, so no one should lose hope.

“We were going to do anything we could to get our shot, so we could go up and see our grandchildren,” Ronnie Lamm said. “We haven’t seen our children or grandchildren for almost a year now, and we cannot wait.”

Three new sites in Lee County open for COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday for those 65 or older or high-risk frontline health workers.

That includes:

  • S.T.A.R.S. Complex in Fort Myers
  • Old Bonita Springs Library
  • East County Regional Library in Lehigh Acres

Each site expects to give 300 vaccinations. Those sites open at 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. but could close early if sites run out of vaccines.

“It’s a great day here,” Conway family said. “We’re happy to spend a night here, get our shots, so we can go back to our normal life.”

Three more places open up in Cape Coral, North Fort Myers and at Lakes Regional Library in south Fort Myers Wednesday.

You can dial 211 if you have any questions at all. The telephone line is available to call and ask questions about the vaccine rollout in Lee County.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.