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DOH-Collier receives COVID-19 vaccine, will distribute Jan. 3

Every county in Southwest Florida now has the COVID-19 vaccine for the general public, and on Wednesday, the final county to get it laid out its plan, filling up all appointment slots in minutes.

Gov. Ron DeSantis reminded people Wednesday that there are limited vaccines available – not enough for everyone, for now — and that people should be patient.

Collier County was the last Southwest Florida county to get vaccines for public distribution, and it only took minutes for the health department to be all booked up at its three sites.

People weren’t happy that appointments went so fast, but by making appointments, the county could avoid the long lines that plagued its neighbor to the north.

“They got people sleeping in their cars … that’s not good, right?” said Larry Gardner, a Collier County resident.

Vaccinations in Collier will begin Sunday, Jan. 3, and will only be given to high-risk frontline health care workers and people 65 years of age and older. Three hundred people were signed up to get them.

Richard Bialeck doesn’t mind waiting until appointments open up again, which will happen once the county receives more doses.

“I’m retired. Every day is Saturday!” Bialeck said with a laugh. After he gets his two doses, he plans to reunite with family he hasn’t seen in months in Connecticut and North Carolina.

Some also complained the health department was hard to get a hold of. Spokesperson Kristine Hollingsworth said they were busy with calls all day long and received nearly 700 emails. She asks everyone for patience.

“We understand that Collier County is a very diverse area and a very diverse community. We also understand that we have many different ages here, and we want to be able to provide everyone the opportunity to get the vaccine,” she said.

The county will continue to receive the vaccine in the following weeks and will announce further dates.

“We have received 3,500 doses in this initial supply. However, we will be continuously receiving vaccines throughout the vaccine rollout. So this is not the only supply that we have – we will continue to receive vaccines,” Hollingsworth said.

Also, note that COVID-19 testing has been canceled for all sites with the exception of Thursday, Jan. 7, at North Collier Regional Park Soccer Fields from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Future appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine will be made via Eventbrite. WINK News will provide updates online and on our app as information is received.

Note: Each event listed below is no longer accepting appointments.

Jan. 3, 2021, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Florida Department of Health in Collier County,
3339 E. Tamiami Trail, Naples, 34112

  • Drive-Thru.
  • Appointment made on Eventbrite.
  • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact and persons 65+.
    • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact will be asked to provide
      identification indicating they are healthcare staff.
  • Face masks must be worn while waiting in vehicles.
  • No referral needed. No cost. Clients will be asked to complete a registration form
    prior to receiving the vaccine.
  • Lightning, heavy rain, or gusty winds can slow operations or shut down the site.

Jan. 4, 2021, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: North Collier Regional Park Soccer Fields:
15000 Livingston Road, Naples, 34109

  • Drive-Thru.
  • Appointment made on Eventbrite.
  • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact and persons 65+.
    • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact will be asked to provide
      identification indicating they are healthcare staff.
  • Face masks must be worn while waiting in vehicles.
  • No referral needed. No cost. Clients will be asked to complete a registration form
    prior to receiving the vaccine.
  • Lightning, heavy rain, or gusty winds can slow operations or shut down the site.

Jan. 5, 2021, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Winn Dixie Mall, 1500 Lake Trafford Road,
Immokalee, 34142

  • Walk-Up.
  • Appointment made on Eventbrite.
  • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact and persons 65+.
    • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact will be asked to provide
      identification indicating they are healthcare staff.
  • Face masks must be worn while waiting.
  • No referral needed. No cost. Clients will be asked to complete a registration form
    prior to receiving the vaccine.
  • Lightning, heavy rain, or gusty winds can slow operations or shut down the site.

Jan. 6, 2021, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: North Collier Regional Park Soccer Fields: 15000
Livingston Road, Naples, 34109

  • Drive-Thru.
  • Appointment made on Eventbrite.
  • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact and persons 65+.
    • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact will be asked to provide
      identification indicating they are healthcare staff.
  • Face masks must be worn while waiting in vehicles.
  • No referral needed. No cost. Clients will be asked to complete a registration form
    prior to receiving the vaccine.
  • Lightning, heavy rain, or gusty winds can slow operations or shut down the site.

Jan. 7, 2021, HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL WITH DIRECT PATIENT CONTACT
ONLY: Florida Department of Health in Collier County, 3339 E. Tamiami Trail,
Naples, 34112

  • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact by appointment only. Call (239) 252-6220.
    • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact will be asked to provide
      identification indicating they are healthcare staff.
  • Face masks must be worn while waiting.
  • No referral needed. No cost. Clients will be asked to complete a registration form
    prior to receiving the vaccine.
  • Lightning, heavy rain, or gusty winds can slow operations or shut down the site.

Jan. 8, 2021, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. North Collier Regional Park Soccer Fields:
15000 Livingston Road, Naples, 34109

  • Drive-Thru.
  • Appointment made on Eventbrite.
  • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact and persons 65+.
    3

    • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact will be asked to provide
      identification indicating they are healthcare staff.
  • Face masks must be worn while waiting.
  • No referral needed. No cost. Clients will be asked to complete a registration form
    prior to receiving the vaccine.
  • Lightning, heavy rain, or gusty winds can slow operations or shut down the site

The DOH-Collier call center will remain open Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The call center can be reached at (239) 252-6220. For more information regarding COVID-19, visit the DOH pandemic website.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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