Dear Patient:

I hope this finds you well. Currently, there are 66 persons hospitalized at NCH with COVID and we have treated 1,480 people in the hospital successfully since the beginning of the pandemic. NCH has completed over 45 thousand tests.


As we go through the winter season, the main thing that you can do is to try and avoid prolonged time in close proximity indoors with others, especially if no masks are being worn. Remember, this virus is transmitted primarily in an airborne fashion from person to person and adjust behavior accordingly.

Vaccines: The FDA meets today to consider approval of the Pfizer vaccine. Initial shipments of vaccines may occur as soon as December 11 to five selected metropolitan areas in Florida that includes: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando and Jacksonville. Each shipment will only contain 975 doses each. It is anticipated that in another 2 weeks, more vaccine will be made available to the state under Operation Warp Speed. NCH has two freezers capable of storing the Pfizer vaccine up to 12,000 doses each. It is anticipated that residents of nursing homes and healthcare workers will receive the initial doses, followed closely by those over 65 with pre-existing conditions. Two shots, about a month apart, will be required. The UK started giving the vaccine this week and it appears to be going smoothly. Attached is more information regarding the safety of the Pfizer vaccine:

The AP (12/8, Neergaard, Perrone) reports that “FDA scientists reanalyzed data from Pfizer’s huge, still-unfinished study and found that so far, the vaccine appears safe and more than 90% effective across patients of different ages, races and underlying health conditions.” Furthermore, “The FDA specifically confirmed it works well in older people, who are especially vulnerable to the virus.”

Testing sites in Collier County include: Advanced Medical Center (566-7676), Vava Clinic (331-8520), the health department (252-8200), EPN urgent care (775-2300), CVS (261-6444 and 775-5450) and the VA Clinic (659-9188). The Century Link Sports Complex in Fort Myers.

Below is the link to the updated NCH COVID information page:

Wishing each and every one of you a safe and healthy holiday!

Paul Jones MD