FISH of SanCap, a social service nonprofit located on Sanibel Island, has secured a second opportunity for community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccination through an on-island pop-up site. The site will be located at the Sanibel Community House located at 2173 Periwinkle Way and is scheduled for April 9 by appointment only. Approximately 300 doses will be available. FISH is uncertain as to which manufacturer will be supplied. Should a second dose be required, those will be administered on April 30. The second vaccination pop-up site was secured after an overwhelmingly positive response to the first site held on March 23rd.
Following a letter addressed to Governor Ron DeSantis and local elected officials outlining the need for COVID-19 vaccines on Sanibel, F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva secured a ‘pop-up’ vaccination site which took place on Tuesday, March 23rd at the Sanibel Community House. The letter stressed the complications that seniors on Sanibel and Captiva were facing, not only with technological capability scheduling vaccinations, but also the logistical hurdles of living on barrier islands with vaccination sites throughout Lee County.
The letter, signed by Maggi Feiner, President & CEO of FISH and Sheridan Snell, Board Chair of FISH asserted that seniors on the barrier islands are faced with many of the same challenges as those in rural and other parts of our state situated far from a vaccination site. The letter also addressed significant number of seniors that FISH already identified as being high priority for a local vaccination option due to their age, medical conditions, or transportation limitations.
The Department of Health responded by bringing a 250 dose pop-up vaccination site to the Sanibel Community House where islanders, scheduled by FISH, were able to come by appointment only to receive their one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccinations. As ‘it takes a village’, FISH was assisted by other island partners such as the Sanibel Community House, the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, the City of Sanibel Police Department, Sanibel Fire Department, Parish Nurses, Medical Offices, Pharmacies, City of Sanibel Officials and FISH volunteers.
FISH will continue to work with island residents who have limited access or ability using technology to schedule appointments elsewhere in the County. As part of that effort, FISH continued advocating for vaccination opportunities on the islands resulting in the April 9 confirmation. “250 vaccinations was an incredible step and allowed us to assist our most vulnerable residents in addition to others who qualified under the Governor’s executive order,” states Maria Espinoza, Assistant Executive Director at FISH. “We are thrilled to have that opportunity again to assist those still needing the vaccination and honored that our community partners will again be a part of our neighbors helping neighbors team.”
FISH notes that this is the biggest project and impact the organization has had in its nearly 40 years. FISH is a “neighbors helping neighbors” organization as the islands only wrap-around service provider offering a wide range of human services. They work through donations, and, with their professional staff and Board, strive to enrich the lives of all people in Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
Appointments will be available on a first come first served basis. Please contact the FISH office at 239-472-4775 to be placed on the vaccination list. To learn more about FISH of SanCap, please visit their website at www.fishofsancap.org