Lakewood Ranch residents react to controversial COVID vaccination site

Lakewood Ranch residents react to controversial COVID vaccination site
Lakewood Ranch pop-up COVID vaccination site. (Source: WWSB)

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (WWSB) - The controversial pop-up vaccination site in Lakewood Ranch was busy once again on Friday with many more Suncoast residents getting their COVID vaccine shots. Some people say there was a need for this site.

“We’ve been registered to get our vaccine since early January, so this was the first opportunity we had to get it,” said Jim Basch, a Lakewood Ranch resident.

The controversy stemmed from two zip codes in Lakewood Ranch being chosen by Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh for people to get their shot. She apologized for her error in judgement. Other residents say hiccups like this are always going to happen.

“Everybody is going to make mistakes and as far as I’m concerned with what happened there, she admitted to it, she said I made a mistake,” said Karl Oeler, a Lakewood Ranch resident.

3000 shots were administered at this site. Many people who received the vaccine here say they are ordinary people. They are grateful this pop-up site was made available.

“In Lakewood Ranch a lot of us are just everyday people who have worked our 30 and 40 years, we retired out here 24 years ago,” said Mary Beth Basch. “So we’re kind of surrounded by an area with some controversy, but I appreciate the governor taking the information he received from residents and helping us.”

This pop-up site will return in three weeks. That’s when people will receive their second dose of the vaccine.

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