SWFL hospitals say they will use all of the vaccine allocated to them

Reporter: Taylor Petras Writer: Melissa Montoya

Hospitals are now being asked to submit their plans to vaccinate the public.

Gov. Ron DeSantis warned hospitals that if they didn’t use their vaccine supply they would not be getting more.

That won’t be an issue in Southwest Florida, as hospitals in the region say they are using all of the vaccine shots they received.

Lee Health and NCH in Collier County plan to announce their vaccine roll out for the public on Wednesday.

“We were asked not to hold back, that they anticipated having vaccine distributed in a timely manner,” said R.D. Williams, CEO for Hendry Regional Medical Center. “I’m sure that we’ll be able to administer the vaccine allocation that we receive.”

Hendry Regional Medical Center got 300 doses of the Moderna vaccine and is waiting for more.

“We did about a quarter of a million vaccinations in the last 10 days in the state and I think what you’re going to see is the first 10 days of January, we are going to do more than that,” said Justin Senior, CEO of Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida.

Lee Health is a member of the alliance.

Senior said hospitals in his group are getting out the vaccine as fast as they can.

In a statement, Lee Health, said it continues to partner with the DOH in Lee County to distribute as much vaccine as possible consistent with the governor’s executive order to vaccinate health care workers and those 65 and older.

“In an effort to keep our community as safe as possible, we are not only distributing all of the vaccines that have been provided to us, but also ensuring that all vaccinated persons are promptly scheduled for the second dose as well,” Lee Health said in a statement. “We are about halfway through our first allotments and expect our supply to be depleted early next week.”

The biggest challenge that hospitals face in vaccinating the public is the unpredictability of how many vaccines they will get, said Mary Mayhew, Florida Hospital Association president and CEO.

“If you don’t know what you’re going to get until 24 hours in advance, or 48 hours in advance, (it’s) awfully difficult to have that thoughtful planning,” Mayhew said.

Hospital beds across the state are filing up, but Williams, Hendry Regional CEO, said he doesn’t anticipate having to strip patient care individuals from their patient care roles.





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