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Looking to access the hard-to-get coronavirus vaccine during the chaotic nationwide rollout? Check the happiest place on Earth.
The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, will be fashioned into a “super POD site” that’ll become operational later this week, Orange County officials announced in a press release Monday. (It doesn’t specify where in the resort the vaccination effort will occur.) While Disneyland is the county’s first “super” site, four more will be erected with the “capacity to vaccinate thousands of residents each day,” according to the press release.
“Coronavirus has brought both a public health crisis and economic devastation,” Anaheim, California, Mayor Harry Sidhu said in the press release Monday. “With this super site, we will begin to overcome both. Every vaccination done in Anaheim will help to save lives and speed the reopening and recovery of our city.”
The Disneyland Resort, whose website beckons people to “return to a land of magic,” has started to reopen its “Downtown Disney District,” but the parks and hotels remain closed.
More than 2,200 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Orange County, according to the government’s website. And the virus has devastated Southern California in recent weeks: Space is reportedly running out in Los Angeles County’s mortuaries, according to ABC News. Meanwhile, the state’s vaccination rollout has been lagging.
Making the Disneyland Resort into a vaccination site is another surreal yet necessary move in the country’s campaign to get shots into people’s arms, fast. To inoculate scores of Americans at breakneck speeds, officials in other states have also turned stadiums and fairgrounds that haven’t gotten much action during the pandemic into places for the shot, according to the Associated Press.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said in a Twitter post Monday that Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, the Petco Park in San Diego, and the CalExpo fairgrounds in Sacramento will become “mass administration sites for priority groups.”
The new sites have been set up to meet the incredible demand from senior citizens, first responders, and frontline workers who are clamoring to get their first shot and stem the pandemic’s worsening hold nationwide.
Currently, Orange County is vaccinating health care workers and first responders who work in high-risk settings, according to the Orange County Health Care website. The county emphasized in its press release that walk-ups won’t be accommodated. Instead, eligible people will be contacted through their employer to schedule an appointment, and only those with appointments and proof of eligibility will be seen at the “new Super POD location.”