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Questions remain after Florida COVID-19 vaccines delayed by winter storm

Many people are wondering about vaccine distribution in Southwest Florida after a winter storm across the U.S. held up the supply.

When the first shots arrived in December, the state picked four hospitals in big cities to serve as vaccine hubs.

When Florida started to get more vaccines in January, the governor said it was based on senior population.

Now with so many options, the Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he looks at percentage of seniors vaccinated to determine where vaccine dose supplies are sent.

People we spoke to seem to think the current process is unfair.

Chuck Fedora owns a motor home in Cape Coral, and he’s geared up to get on the road.

“Everything is three hours away, and she can’t travel 6,7 hours a round trip in the car, just having back surgery,” Fedora explained about his wife.

Seniors such as Fedora are taking road trips because they say there is not enough supply of COVID-19 vaccines to go around here.

“The vaccines are all over in Palm Beach County or Orange County,” Fedora said. “Either direction is three hours.”

So how does the state determine how much vaccine goes where? And when?

Florida Department of Health in Lee County told us there are 7,500 first dose appointments scheduled this week. Meanwhile, the state received more than 460,000 doses this week.

Gene Noonan in Port Charlotte logged onto Publix’s vaccine website Wednesday.

“We were just shocked to see nothing available again, in Charlotte, Lee or Collier counties,” Noonan said.

Publix told us people should not expect every county to have shots available every scheduling cycle.

“It is extremely frustrating, and everybody’s experiencing the same thing,” Fedora said.

Publix recommends people drive where the doses are available.

“As a matter of saving lives, I don’t think we’re doing a very good job of getting the shots to where they need to be,” Noonan said.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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