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Charlotte County vaccine appointments booked through start of January

Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County says it’s already booked through the start of January, as it plans to start vaccinating for the coronavirus Wednesday.

A woman we spoke to said she spent three hours trying to book a spot with no luck.

“What about all these really elderly people in their seventies, eighties and nineties that don’t have a computer or can’t see well enough to see a computer or can’t sit at a computer,” Paula De Rienzo said. “How are they going to get their vaccine?”

We went to Harold Avenue Regional Park Tuesday night, where Charlotte County is planned to give out the first round of vaccines in the morning.

On the bright side, there was no line in Charlotte County after hundreds of people successfully set up appointments. But as mentioned, it was not all smooth sailing for everyone.

We did speak to people waiting in line for vaccines at North Fort Myers Park and Recreation Center in Lee County, who were taking the chance to get the vaccine seriously.

“It’s just too scary. I’ve never in 75 years never come across anything that scares us like this, so that’s why we’re willing to wait all night to get the vaccine,” David Curtis said.

David and his wife Joanne Curtis were prepared to stay in line for 16 hours because they want their shot at normalcy.

“We got a call from one of our neighbors,” David said. “And we left within five minutes.”

“I brought some games. I brought dinner. I have breakfast for tomorrow morning,” Joanne said.

For them and lots of people their age, new vaccines aren’t something new at all.

“I was one of the kids picked in my class to be a polio pioneer. I was in second grade, I think,” David said. “The world is so different when we grew up than what you’re growing up with now.”

Streyffeler agreed with the sentiments David shared regarding the vaccine today.

“It was if the doctor told you to do it, you just did it,” said Dr. Laura Streyffeler, a clinical psychologist. “Now, people are researching differently. There’s also lots of information.”

Streyffeler said the generation that’s grown up with internet has a different view on many things, and the vaccine is no exception.

“Years ago, vaccines weren’t something that you thought about; they were just something that you did,” Streyffeler said. “You know, you vaccinate your kids before school. There are certain things that you did, and people didn’t question them the way that they researched them now.”

If you ask Joanne and David Curtis, this time around is different

“This is way more serious,” Joanne said.

“Just look at the death rate around the world and in the U.S., I mean, nobody can stop it,” David said.

As the lines keep growing over in Lee County, there are no more appointments here in Charlotte County until after Jan. 8.

The county said to check back on its website Jan. 6 to see when more appointments will open up.

The people lucky enough to book appointments will get their first dose Wednesday at Harold Avenue Regional Park.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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