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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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President's Message

Jan. 12, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Continues in Lee County

Prevention Efforts Still Important to Reduce Spread of Virus

Larry Antonucci portrait

The COVID-19 vaccine and its distribution continue to be hot topics and are top-of-mind for many in our community. As a physician and the leader of Lee County’s major destination for health care, I am excited and proud of our community's interest and enthusiasm for getting vaccinated. I recently had the opportunity to make rounds at Gulf Coast Medical Center, and many of our team members shared how proud and appreciative they were to receive the vaccine. The mood was uplifting and hopeful.

At Lee Health, we began vaccinating our health care team members on Dec. 22 and have continued administering the vaccine since that day following specific criteria of who should be vaccinated first - guidelines outlined in an Executive Order from Governor Ron DeSantis. Over the last few weeks, we also expanded vaccination to registered and active Lee Health volunteers and non-Lee Health community health care workers who meet the eligibility criteria, as well as Lee Physician Group patients over the age of 65 or those who are medically vulnerable.

Lee Health, the state of Florida, Lee County and the Department of Health Lee County are working collaboratively toward the goal of getting the vaccine to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. This collaboration allows each organization to leverage their respective roles in our community to increase the number of access points to provide more vaccines. We will continue working with our local partners to ensure we have the necessary access points to get the vaccine to those who want it as they become eligible and as more vaccines become available from the state.

I believe in this vaccine – that’s why I’ve received it myself as I meet the current guidelines. This vaccine is critically important in winning our fight against the coronavirus, and I urge everyone to get it when it becomes available to them.

Please remember, it can take up to six weeks to be fully protected from the virus, and it will take some time to broadly vaccinate our community, so we must remain diligent in our prevention efforts. Keep wearing your masks, practicing physical distancing and washing your hands.

Yours in Health,

Larry Antonucci, M.D., MBA

President & CEO, Lee Health

Thank you for your support. Together we are Caring People. Inspiring Health.