Lee Health COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
Last updated: January 13, 2020
Lee Health contact centers are experiencing an influx of calls due to inquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine leading to prolonged hold times and busy signals. Please do not call to book a vaccination appointment at this time as we are currently short of supply. If you are calling for another reason and cannot reach us by phone, try using the MyChart app.
Collaboration in Vaccinating Our Community
Lee Health is committed to getting our community vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. We are working hand-in-hand with the Department of Health Lee County and Lee County Government to get our entire community vaccinated as quickly as our vaccine supply allows. The Department of Health and Lee County Government are taking the lead on community vaccinations, while Lee Health is focused primarily on health care workers.
Prioritization of Vaccinations
Because supplies are limited at this time, the State of Florida is prioritizing vaccinating those who are at the highest risk of exposure, such as health care workers, individuals over the age of 65, and those with certain co-morbidities that put them at higher risk of acute illness should they contract COVID-19. As more doses become available more people will become eligible for the vaccine.
Lee Physician Group
Due to a lack of supply, Lee Physician Group is not making appointments for COVID-19 vaccination at this time. When we receive additional inventory, we will reach out to our patients who are eligible for the vaccine. We ask that you not call to ask about getting vaccinated, as it strains our switchboard and prevents others from reaching their physician office or patients in our hospitals.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will the vaccine be available to me as a patient?
At this time, Lee Health is focused on vaccinating health care workers and the Lee County Health Department is currently handling vaccines for the general public. The vaccine will be available to Lee Health patients very soon and there are discussions underway to begin community vaccinations. We will announce details in the next few days.
Is the vaccine safe and effective?
Yes, both vaccines currently available have a 94.5% efficacy rate and do not contain the virus itself.
Can I choose which vaccine I receive?
As we receive a larger supply of the different vaccines in the future, it may be possible for you to choose which vaccine you get. However, in the early stages when supplies are limited you are not likely to have a choice. All of the available vaccines on the market have been proven safe and effective and work in similar ways.
Should I get the vaccine if I have an underlying health condition, have severe allergies or am pregnant?
While there is limited data available on how the vaccine interacts with pregnant women, both the Centers for Disease Control and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have recommended that pregnant women get the vaccine when it is available to them.
Those with underlying health conditions or severe allergies should consult with their doctor before receiving the vaccine. People who have a history of severe allergic reactions to any vaccine or injectable medicine should not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Will I be able to stop wearing a mask after I am vaccinated?
Until we reach herd immunity we will all need to continue to wear a mask and social distance in public even after you are vaccinated. We don’t know at this point if we can still spread the virus even if we are vaccinated.
Should I get the vaccine even if I have already had COVID?
Yes, we encourage you to get the vaccine even if you have already had COVID. You will be eligible to receive the vaccine 90 days after your last positive test.
Should I get the vaccine even if I have tested positive for COVID antibodies?
Yes, if you are eligible to receive the vaccine and have tested positive for antibodies you should still get the vaccine. This is because antibodies may only stay in our bodies for a limited time and the vaccine provides further protection.
Is it a benefit or risk to take the vaccine if you are on immunosuppression medication?
People on immunosuppression medications may not mount the same antibody response to the vaccine as those who are not on those medications. It is not a risk to take the vaccine, but protection may not be equal.
Do any of the COVID-19 vaccines lead to infertility?
The current vaccine studies have not indicated any fertility-related complications due to COVID-19 vaccination.
How soon will I be immune after getting the vaccine?
The body will begin to make antibodies to fight COVID-19 about two weeks after receiving the vaccine. The second shot acts as a booster to extend protection and is necessary based on current vaccine studies for improved protection.
Where can I get more information about the COVID vaccine?
For the latest information on the COVID vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.