Manorcare Lely Palms one of first centers in Southwest Florida receiving vaccine

Published: December 21, 2020 5:39 PM EST
Updated: December 21, 2020 5:51 PM EST

NOTE: The COVID-19 vaccine is NOT currently available to the general public.

It’s been one week since the first vaccine was administered in America. Fast forward and 554,00 vaccines have been administered so far and 24 million more doses are available a a apart of the first phase.

Manorcare Lely Palms is expected to be one of the first care facilities in Southwest Florida to vaccinate its seniors and healthcare workers. These residents say the vaccine gives the some semblance of hope.

Winston Williams is 86-years-old and gets around just fine in his wheelchair. But, in the past several months, the pandemic has kept him inside at his nursing home.

“I went out almost everyday to be with friends and family. Almost everyday,” Williams said.

But that was pre-pandemic. Now, Williams sees the faces of his loved ones in a picture on the shelf at Manorcare in Lely Palms. “I haven’t been able to see my brother or my neice since march,” said Willaims.

“The hardest part for me is being separated from my family and friends. I know many people here in Naples and I miss them. Thank God for zoom because I feel them on the computer, virtually but I miss seeing them in person,” Williams said.

Residents like Williams, Jane Kutza and others at Manorcare in Lely Palms some of the first in Collier County to get COVID-19 vaccines.

“That is everything,” Kutza said.

Duane Smith works at Manorcare Lely Palms. “Hopefully, to start eventually open the doors to visitors to come back inside. It’s very important for our community here and for their healing,” said Smith.

Healthcare workers here held signs and got some vaccines so that their loved ones could be safe.

“Today everyone has been really excited and onboard and happy, we have split up the staff between this vaccine process and the next one…that way if there’s any adverse reactions,” Smith said.

Williams says he’s confident about the vaccine he’s getting. “I’m completely confident about the vaccine,” said Williams.

Kutza says this is a miracle drug. “It’s a miracle drug and i hope it is proved to be a miracle drug,” she said.

Rsidents and healthcare workers at Manorcare expect another dose of the Pfizer vaccine to arrive at Lely Palms in two weeks. The vaccine isn’t a requirement at the facility.

The Naples location is expected  to get the vaccine on Wednesday.