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DeSoto County sees Floridians around the state get in line for COVID-19 vaccine

Hundreds of people in DeSoto County spent their day trying to snag a COVID-19 vaccine. Some say they were lucky. The process there looked a bit different compared to before.

“We’ve been waiting for this time for quite a while,” Phyllis Slagell said.

People from near and far lined up for one the 200 COVID-19 vaccine slots available in DeSoto County Tuesday.

“We live about a half a mile from here,” Bill Hartley said. “We live in Arcadia.”

“We are residents of Florida,” Mark Clark said. “We live in Holmes Beach.”

“I just wish the other thousand people out there could’ve gotten in line, but I was the lucky one,” Sharon Pressley said.

The journey to get to this day was exhausting for many.

“I’ve been on websites, on the phone, experiencing the normal frustrations that many have expressed,” said Merrillee Karanickolas from Estero.

The first dose of the vaccine means Karanickolas is one step closer to seeing family.

“I almost cried because now I can go see my granddaughter who was born in December and give that little baby some snuggles,” Karanickolas said.

Marty Clark is one shot closer to leaving her home.

“Who would’ve thought that going to the grocery store is going to be a thrilling event, but it will be” Marty said.

Slagell was first in line and knows the consequences of COVID-19 complications.

“We just lost a friend in our park just last night,” Slagell said.

Everyone told us the hours in their cars and at home waiting for the moment they got vaccinated paid off.

“If I didn’t come up, I had a 0% chance of getting a vaccine,” Karanickolas said. “If I came up, I at least had a shot in the dark.”


DeSoto County will offer appointments by phone only for vaccines starting next week. There is no online registration. The phone number will be posted once it’s available on the DeSoto County website.

RESOURCE: WINK News is working by the minute on a daily basis to bring our coverage areas in Southwest Florida the latest COVID-19 vaccine information from the counties you live in.

Visit our COVID-19 vaccine schedules and information for SWFL story for rolling vaccine updates.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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