Disneyland California is set to become a huge COVID-19 vaccination site, according to Orange County officials. It was announced on Monday that the theme park will host what is called a ‘POD’ or, large Point-Of-Dispensing site for vaccine distribution.
Disneyland will be the first of five Super POD sites in Orange County with the capacity to vaccinate thousands of people every day. The other sites will be announced as their agreements are finalized, but the vaccination site at the park is expected to become operational later this week.
“We recognize that the current strategy is not going to get us where we need to go as quickly as we all need to go,” claims Governor Gavin Newsom. “That’s why we’re speeding up the administration, not just for priority groups, but also now opening up large sites to do so.”
Under the operation nicknamed Operation Independence, health care officials in Orange County aim to complete all vaccinations by July.
“The Disneyland Resort, the largest employer in the heart of Orange County, has stepped up to host the county’s first Super POD site – undertaking a monumental task in our vaccination distribution process,” said Andrew Do, county Supervisor and acting chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
“We truly appreciate the support of the Orange County Fire Authority, our cities, and our residents as we continue to rollout COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the county.”
A Disneyland executive said the theme park was glad to support the vaccination efforts.
“Disneyland Resort is proud to help support Orange County and the City of Anaheim with the use of our property, and we are grateful for all of their efforts to combat COVID-19,” said Dr Pamela Hymel, Chief Medical Officer, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
Dr Hymel added, “After a year in which so many in our community have faced unprecedented hardship and uncertainty, there is now reason for optimism with the administration of a vaccine.”
The Disneyland announcement comes after Petco Park in San Diego opened as a vaccination site on Monday. Dodger Stadium is changing from a testing site to a vaccination location and is expected to open by the end of this week.
California’s Department of Public Health is managing who will receive the coronavirus vaccine. The first to receive the vaccination are people who fall into what they are calling Group 1A. This group includes front-line workers such as law enforcement and first responders, as well as elderly people over the age of 75.
Education and childcare workers, people between the ages of 65 and 74 and homeless people are expected to have access by next month.
In other COVID news, three Gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for the coronavirus. Read the story here.