Naples Senior Center helps 100 Collier County seniors get first vaccine dose

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Seniors eligible for the coronavirus vaccine were lined up in vehicles Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 to get their first doses after Naples Senior Center worked with the health department to get people signed up through Eventbrite in Collier Count. Credit: WINK News.

More than 100 Collier County seniors received a renewed dose of hope and help.

The over-80 crowd doesn’t have access to technology or the ability to book their own appointments, but they were able to get their shot in the arm with some help.

Cars were full of some of the most vulnerable in the community Thursday, and they were lined up to get the vaccine. It was an emotional day for Naples Senior Center. It helped those eligible in the community get signed up for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Members who I used to see every Wednesday who I haven’t seen since March in their cars,’ said Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, the president and CEO of Naples Senior Center.

Some seniors in Southwest Florida continue to live in isolation.

”Just being indoors, and you can’t socialize,” Ora Jones said β€œjust to the mailbox and back.”

People have been hit hard by the pandemic.

”I have a brother-in-law,” Allen Anderson said. β€œHe’s in his eighties, but he lost both of his children in the last month.”

Anderson and his wife, Marcene, have braved the pandemic together. They have been lucky to have each other through these tough times.

“I’m 74 and my bride is a cougar. She’s 84,” Anderson said. “She’s kept us very isolated, and I’m doing my best as a social-aholic to comply.”

The two now live in a motor home on Marco Island to keep Marcene safe because of her medical conditions.

”We decided to sell our condo on Marco Island because we realized that people weren’t that observant amongst other things,” Anderson explained.

Naples Senior Center staff made personal calls to nearly 300 people, and with the help of Florida Department of Health in Collier County, it registered every senior on Eventbrite. We don’t know when there will be a second dose of the vaccine for them.

Now, the Andersons and many others were vaccinated, and they are all one step closer to their next adventure.

”’Just living a normal life,” Ed Felsenthal said. β€œThe whole world has not been able to live a normal life.”

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