SWFL residents travel to Miami to get vaccine

Credit: WINK News

After traveling hundreds of miles to be one of the first to get a COVID-19 vaccine, some Southwest Florida residents are trying to find a way to get their second dose closer to home.

Gail Niccolai and husband George are facing some obstacles in trying to find an appointment for the Pfizer vaccine in Southwest Florida, where most providers are only offering the Moderna vaccine. Not to mention how difficult it is to even schedule an appointment.

Pat Marmo also went to Miami to get her vaccine after spending hours trying to book one in Southwest Florida.

“It was fabulous. Didn’t mind the two-hour drive. I would do anything to get the vaccine,” she said.

Marmo said several friends also made the drive across Alligator Alley for the vaccine.

So did the Niccolais, after trying for weeks to get one closer to home.

“It’s terrible. It’s like dodging bullets. Because you’re afraid any day you may come down with it and you want to have the vaccination before that happens,” Gail said.

Both are happy to get that first dose, but of course, there are downsides.

“We’re in pretty good shape for our age but other people our age certainly could never make the trip. I wouldn’t even attempt to,” Gail said.

“They were in line, over a two-mile line for eight hours. Eight hours,” Marmo explained.

Neither Marmo nor the Niccolais can find the Pfizer vaccine in Southwest Florida, meaning they’ll likely have to head back to Miami for their second doses. But both women say they’ll do what they have to after almost a year apart from family and friends.

“I was never so excited to get a vaccine,” Marmo said.

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