Marco Island to end its COVID-19 vaccination clinics; over 3K doses administered

The city of Marco Island announced Tuesday in a news release it will conclude its COVID-19 vaccination clinics in May.

"If you are a Marco Island resident over the age of 18 seeking a vaccine and would like a vaccine this month, please register at http://vaccine.cityofmarcoisland.com," the city stated.

The city reported May will be dedicated to providing second doses of the Moderna vaccine. 

More:Marco Island reopened COVID-19 vaccine probe after suspending chiefs for 30 days

And:Marco Patriots book more than 500 COVID-19 vaccine appointments for seniors

Marco Island Fire-Rescue Chief Christopher Byrne said Tuesday that the city will conclude its vaccination clinics in May because access to the vaccine has increased through pharmacies and health care providers.

"There are far more opportunities to get vaccines than there were in January," Byrne said.

The city stated registered residents must answer their phones when they get a call from 239-970-4022 and reply to emails from vaccine@cityofmarcoisland.com or from help@merits.com in order to get an appointment.

"If Merit is not able to reach a resident by email or phone, they will go to the next person on the list and the opportunity to get a vaccine appointment through the city will be missed," the city stated.

The vaccine clinics are held Fridays at the city's Mackle Park.

Over 3,000 vaccine doses delivered 

As of Tuesday, the city and Collier County EMS have administered 3,298 vaccine doses on the island since the city-sponsored clinics began in late January, according to Byrne.

In January, the city twice used the free event management website Eventbrite to allow city residents and nonresidents to register to get the vaccine on the island, and the slots were filled within minutes.

Hundreds of Floridians went to Marco Island's Mackle Park on Friday to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after making appointments online earlier in the week. In the photo, people register to get the vaccine at Mackle Park on Jan. 29, 2021.

More:Marco Island police, fire chiefs each suspended 30 days starting Feb. 8

From February:Marco Island announces new system for residents to make COVID-19 vaccination appointments

Marco Island City Manager Mike McNees suspended Police Chief Tracy L. Frazzano and Byrne for 30 days starting Feb. 8 after a city investigation found Frazzano's husband, William Frazzano, 65, booked a vaccine appointment on an online platform administered by Collier County EMS before the city published the registration link on its website and social media accounts Jan. 20.

The investigation led by McNees also found that county staff alerted Byrne of the breach minutes before the registration link was made available to the public but that Byrne failed to report it and allowed William Frazzano to get the vaccine at the city's first vaccination clinic Jan. 22.

In February, the city announced a new registration system for full-time and seasonal residents 65 and older, where appointments would be assigned starting with Marco's oldest residents. The city selected the new registration system to prioritize older local residents, replacing the first come-first served model the city used in January, McNees said at the time.

contract shows the city agreed to pay up to $49,000 until June 9 for the new system and related services. Casey Lucius, assistant to the city manager, wrote in an email Tuesday the city has paid $19,000 to the vendor Merit International as of Tuesday. 

The vendor would assist with assigning and notifying pre-registered individuals with their scheduled appointments for vaccinations, the contract shows. It would also provide the city with spreadsheets of the people scheduled for each week and provide customer support and services via email, text and calls.

"There won't be any city employees directly involved in selecting who gets the vaccination. It will be the vendor based on the priorities we set," McNees said at the time.

For questions about receiving a vaccine on Marco Island, please call City Hall at 239-389-5000 or contact Merit Customer Care at 239-970-4022.

Contact Omar at omar.rodriguezortiz@naplesnews.com, and follow him on Twitter as @Omar_fromPR. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.