SWFL couples fed up with vaccine system travel to East Coast to get first dose

A woman was fed up with the vaccine reservation system in Southwest Florida, so she traveled hundreds of miles to get the shot.

Betty Rahm, Cherie McArthur and their husbands took a road trip across the state Tuesday to get their first COVID-19 doses.

“I just want things to be back to normal,” Rahm said.

“I wanted to get it done,” McArthur said. “I wanted to be able to enjoy some of my life again.”

The former Ohio residents booked their appointments at the Cleveland Clinic where they are patients. This was the decision they collectively made after many failed attempts to schedule appointments in Lee County.

“It was so frustrating because you’d hang up; you’d dial again; you’d get the busy; you’d dial again,” McArthur said.

Donna Lee Horn in Englewood knows the feeling.

“He’s been calling; he’s been online trying to get an appointment; but you can’t get through,” Horn said.

Horn and Enid Kuperman are frustrated with non-Florida residents getting shots before them. They don’t want to travel for their vaccine.

“I know they need their shots, and I hope they did,” Horn said. “Why didn’t they get it up where they live?”

“Everybody should have the opportunity,” Kuperman said. “Doesn’t matter if you’re a snowbird, everybody should have it. It’s just being mishandled.”

You don’t have to live in Lee County to get the vaccine, and the same goes for all the other vaccination sites in Southwest Florida.

“Either keep trying, or actually look at alternative sites too,” Rahm said. “I mean neighboring counties. I had looked into that as well.


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:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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