There were 5,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine available this week here in Lee County and they have all been reserved. Within minutes of taking reservations for the vaccine, all 5,000 were taken. Within the first 30 minutes of the phone line going live, there was an average of 50,000 calls per minute, with a peak call volume of 84,000 calls per minute.
Additional doses will be available soon, and the reservation call line will reopen at that time. Callers who are on hold or were given the option to receive a call-back – and who left their number – are continuing to be processed.
Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman said he understands that people are frustrated that they could not secure an appointment, but with a population of more than 200,000 people age 65 and older in Lee County it is not a surprise that demand exceeded supply.
“Here is the good news: More vaccine doses will be coming to Lee County,” Hamman said.
Dan Craig, CEO of Tidal Basin, the vendor providing the call center, said more than 100 employees were on hand to take reservations as the reservation system went live at noon Monday. Representatives continue to work with callers through today even though the center is not accepting additional calls.
Anyone who requested a call back to finalize the reservations should be certain to answer the call or they will lose their place in the queue, Craig said.
Vaccinations scheduled Monday will begin Tuesday at a single site east of Interstate 75 off Daniels Parkway. It’s the site of the old airport terminal parking lot. Message boards will direct traffic to Paul J. Doherty Parkway.
When those registered arrive on site, officials will request three things: name, identification and time of appointment before allowing them to queue up. (Only those with appointments will be vaccinated.) People are asked to arrive no more than 45 minutes before their assigned vaccination time. Even though this is an appointment system, processing times may vary. Be prepared for some wait time.
FDOH anticipates administering 1,000 shots Tuesday, and 2,000 shots per day on Wednesday and Thursday. Reservations will resume once more vaccinations arrive.