In Lee County, those with disabilities have a hard time getting vaccine

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine has been difficult in Florida. For those struggling with disabilities, it can be even harder.

Patricia Talbert, a 67-year-old Fort Myers woman who is blind, is desperately trying to get a vaccine.

The Fort Myers Presbyterian Community resident said she’s twice called Lee County 200 times to try to book an appointment but has been unsuccessful.

The pandemic has isolated her from her kids and family because she doesn’t want to travel on a plane.

“I always get all of my vaccines,” Talbert said. “I was in a bad car accident which caused my blindness and so my health is very very important to me.”

Being unable to get an appointment has frustrated aggravated Talbert, she said.

Two days ago Talbert was able to get through, she said. She provided the call-taker with her information, including her name and date of birth.

“Then they told me to hold on and I held on and she came on the phone and she kept saying hello and I kept saying hello, hello it’s as though we couldn’t hear one another speak,” Talbert said. “It’s been horrible; it’s been really horrible. I’m sure for everyone who has ran into problems like I have, it’s horrible.”

Talbert hopes the state or the county will designate a time for seniors who live on their own, like her, to receive a vaccine.

Being able to travel to Texas to see the kids after getting vaccinated would lift her spirits.

“It would mean so much to me, it would mean the world to me,” she said.

So far, the county has not provided any help on getting appointments for people with disabilities except for offering a ride to the site near the airport via Lee County Transit’s ADA paratransit service, called Passport.



Reporter:Gail Levy
Writer:Melissa Montoya
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