First day of Lee County vaccine scheduling leaves thousands either happy or frustrated

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For those who scheduled appointments in Lee County, vaccines will be administered again starting Tuesday.

Alan Aeschliman will be one of the 5,000 people to sit in tents to get his first shot for COVID-19 in the next few days, but thousands more aren’t so lucky. Many are still waiting to find out if they’ll be in Aeschliman’s shoes. He says the vaccine will give him a shot at a normal life again after being cooped up for nearly a year.

“We still have our plans to go in the middle of this month to go up to Indiana to surprise our oldest granddaughter, 8-year-old granddaughter on her birthday,” Aeschliman said.

Aeschliman only had to call once, and he spoke to a real person and got an appointment.

But many, many people shared Samuel Leone’s pain.

“I called over 120 times and I got through twice, and they hung up on me both times,” Leone said. “Your hopes are all there and then click.”

Or there are people, such as Brenda and Michael Newman, who are waiting all night.

“We’ve been kind of in prison for the last five or so hours waiting on a call back, which hasn’t happened yet,” Michael said.

Monday’s effort to schedule appointments for the vaccine in Lee County left thousands frustrated.

“If anything is annoying it’s just waiting on this phone call to come back, or maybe who knows? Maybe it will never happen,” Michael said.

“I wanna be done with this and get the vaccine, so I was very disappointed,” Leone said. “I was disappointed that they had eight months to figure this out, and it seems like they haven’t figured it out.”

The people we spoke to told us it seems like the only way out of the pandemic is through a shot in the arm, but they said getting to one of the tents to get vaccinated has been nearly impossible.

RSW airport says there will be heavy traffic on the northside of the airport property near a vaccination site there Tuesday. It’s recommended to get there early.

RESOURCE: WINK News is working by the minute on a daily basis to bring our coverage areas in Southwest Florida the latest COVID-19 vaccine information from the counties you live in.

Visit our COVID-19 vaccine schedules and information for SWFL story for rolling vaccine updates.

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