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North senior communities get COVID vaccinations

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Mar 31, 2021

Betty DiStefano gets her COVID shot at Windmill Village on Monday. CHUCK BALLARO

news@breezenewspapers.com

Senior residents at The Heritage and Windmill Village in North Fort Myers got something Monday they have been waiting for almost a year to receive — COVID-19 vaccinations.

For many residents of both communities, it was a big day. Some of them have been unwilling to leave their homes for fear of contracting the illness.

“People have been waiting a long time and many of them can’t get it elsewhere, so this just helps get people vaccinated,” said Margaret Pfuhl, Windmill Village’s community manager.

Connie Foster, who was at Windmill Village, was thankful their community was able to get the Pfizer vaccine offered there.

“I’m glad it’s here and thankful it’s available to us. I wish it had been sooner,” Foster said. “I was happy when we got it, but this Sunday morning the state called me for my appointment for a shot.”

On Monday, more than 140 residents of The Heritage and more than 170 residents at Windmill Village, both age-qualified residential communities, received their COVID-19 vaccines.

Janet Fitterling, who waited in line with a good book to read, said it was great that people at Windmill, the vast majority of whom are 55 and over, could get the shot.

“It’s an opportunity not a lot of parks are offering. We were very lucky. The only thing people can anticipate is that their arm is going to be sore for a day or two,” Fitterling said.

Lee County Health Department staff spent Monday setting up the sites and staff members administering COVID-19 vaccines to the registered residents in both communities.

Volunteers also were there to make sure that social distancing was maintained.

Betty DiStefano and her husband were the first ones to get their first shot at Windmill Village and they will get their second one once they return home to Massachusetts.

“It’s amazing. We didn’t have to stand in line anywhere. That was one of my biggest worries of people waiting to get an appointment,” DiStefano said. “We were hoping to get the second shot but we go home on April 8 and my husband is sick, so I feel comfortable getting one shot.”

The Pfizer vaccine requires two shots, so the communities will hold a second vaccination on April 19 for them to be administered.