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Limited number of vaccines to be available on Pine Island

Shots earmarked for healthcare volunteers and special groups

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Apr 7, 2021

pleblanc@breezenewspapers.com

At the March 29 Pine Island COVID-19 Task Force meeting, the continuing discussion of vaccines included future availability of coronavirus immunization on the island.

Beacon of Hope Director Nancy Buthman reported that healthcare volunteers and special groups may be able to obtain the Pfizer vaccination from Lee Health through the Beacon as early as April. For now the vaccines will be limited in number and disbursement.

At this time, Buthman said there is no need for volunteers to administer the vaccine, as Lee Health told her they have their own people. While volunteers may be able to bring people to the Beacon, there will be no service available to bring the vaccine to the homebound.

There are 150 of them available at this time, Buthman said. The first shot will be given on April 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The second shot will be given on May 4. You must be at least 18 years old and a Florida resident. If you can prove you own a home here or that you are here for 6 months that’s OK, too. Appointments are made on the half hour. Anyone who wants an appointment should call Buthman at 239-246-3566.

In comparing the various vaccines available, Task Force member Dr. James Koopman said the ones containing the mRNA, such as Moderna and Pfizer, do get a strong immune response, preventing infection, as reported in a United States study on healthcare workers who have had one of the two.