Lee County’s new Edison Mall vaccination site opens

In order to get your COVID-19 vaccine in Lee County, you will now have to go to the Edison Mall at 4125 Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers, where the old Sears store has been converted into a mass vaccination site.

The county says there shouldn’t be any growing pains when the doors opened at the new site on Wednesday, expecting things to go smoothly. It is about the same size as the Southwest Florida International Airport site, but with more parking, and the ability to extend hours if needed.

Once inside, check-in staff will make sure you meet all the criteria to get the vaccine. While waiting for your appointment, you will find plenty of space to be socially distanced. After your name is called and you get the shot, you will head to the waiting area to be watched by paramedics. In the center of the building is the command area, where the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County and Lee County Emergency Medical Services will be found to handle any situations that might come up.

The Edison Mall is a more convenient site for Lee County residents: Buses run at the Edison Mall regularly, making it more accessible for people in underserved communities, and it is air-conditioned and indoors at a time of year when high heat and storms could otherwise drive people away.

“We can prepare for the heat, thunderstorms and weather that we will be receiving,” said Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane. “The bus line is really a big thing. To do it, you just get off the bus and you walk a very short distance and you can go there. We look forward to this, and the timing couldn’t be better.”

“It’s a better idea, simply because of the weather,” said Lee County resident RIchard Newman, who has already been vaccinated. “All the people sitting out… you don’t want them to get sick. It doesn’t make sense.”

The site is appointment-only, but Lee County is looking at extending hours during the day and even to the weekends to accommodate more people. For now, it will stay open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but this will reassessed once the site is fully up and running.

Important to note: If you received your first dose between March 18 and March 20 at the RSW site, you’ll get a call to schedule your new appointment at the Edison Mall.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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