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North Fort Myers residents get second COVID vaccine

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Apr 23, 2021

Hundreds of residents at three of North Fort Myers 55-plus communities are now fully vaccinated, thanks to efforts that brought the COVID-19 vaccine to them.

The second COVID shots were made available at Buccaneer Estates, Lake Fairways and Pine Lakes on Friday.

The Health Department of Lee County set up vaccination sites for residents who received their vaccine during the first vaccination event held at the communities on April 2.

Staff members from the Health Department administered the vaccines. Volunteers were there to ensure that social distancing was maintained.

Things smoothly at Lake Fairways where people sat in the clubhouse, socially distanced, while the shots were administered while they sat, with the most fragile getting priority.

“We’re giving the people who need assistance the first priority, with everyone else in the order they arrived,” said Karen Pratt-Beals, HOA president at Lake Fairways. “The first time we didn’t know what to expect or how to do it as well. Now, we know how to help by having them sit down and know how to help them.”

Pratt-Beals said that for those who are homebound, people would be going out to their homes to administer their shots so they did not have to travel.

Dora Dissmeyer, who has already gotten her shots, came to support her friend, Sadie Vanlangevelde, who was in the front row.

“I am so grateful for them to be here for people like Sadie who doesn’t get out a lot. Some don’t get out at all, so it’s wonderful they came into the park for us,” Dissmeyer said. “I’m so happy to be where I’m at now.”

Linda Sample was among the first to get her second shot and was relieved, as she lives by herself.

“I don’t get out a whole lot, but I’m never bored. I keep busy and find things to do. I have five children and they visit and Facetime,” Sample said. “I have one good neighbor. I’m not a goer, I’m just happy at home.”

Rick Pemberton was waiting for his second shot and looking forward to closing it out.

“COVID throttled back everything that goes on here. There’s so much activity that goes on here like shows and theater, but none of it happened with COVID,” Pemberton said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to pick up where we left off.”

Richard Hayes, a snowbird about ready to return to New York, waited patiently with his wife for his shot. He sat in the fourth row of the clubhouse, understanding he would have to sit a while.

“It’s convenient because we live in the community. The first shot was very easy. We walked right in. Now, it’s catching on this time,” Hayes said. “It’s cool and air-conditioned and they’re coming to me.”