Some with vaccine appointments turned away in Charlotte County

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jackie Winchester
Credit: WINK News

You get a coveted appointment slot for the COVID-19 vaccine only to show up at the site and be turned away. It’s just one of the many frustrations for some in Charlotte County.

Charlotte County uses a website to register people for the vaccine, and when they opened up more appointments on Wednesday, the site crashed. Nearly a thousand people still found a way to access the appointment calendar, creating a whole new problem.

Nilda Rodriguez thought she would get her big shot at 11 a.m., but “When I got to the ladies who check you in, she said we can’t find you. I said what do you mean you can’t find me? She says, we can’t.”

She showed them her confirmation email but they still turned her away.

“So she says I’m sorry, we don’t have you, we have enough for the people we have on the list.”

Rodriguez wouldn’t give up, though. She begged and pleaded for her shot. Why did it mean so much to her?

“Because of how I feel … and what I have. If I was healthy, healthy, healthy, I wouldn’t care. But 77, like I said, I have a pacemaker, I also have had too many strokes. I have to be extra careful for me and everybody around me.”

Rodriguez said that finally, a kind woman with the health department made sure she got the injection and didn’t go home without hope.

“I’m thankful that I got in and I got my vaccine. I encourage everyone to get it,” Rodriguez said.

The Charlotte County Office of Emergency Management will contact everyone who overbooked, whether it was for Wednesday or some other time, so check your phone or email – you could get the vaccine next week.

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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