Disneyland Opens as a New Front in the Battle Against Coronavirus

Cars lined up outside the world-famous theme park, one of several possible mega-sites for vaccine distribution in Orange County.

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More than 10,000 people scheduled COVID-19 vaccination appointments Tuesday night hours before Orange County opened a vaccine shot super site at Disneyland. 

Thousands more people registered to be notified when more appointments will be available, county officials said as Southern California opened a new front in the battle to stem a post-holiday virus surge.

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Cars lined up early Wednesday outside the Anaheim theme park for a Disneyland visit like no other. Drivers formed two lines as they entered the vaccine distribution area.

The vaccine center at Disneyland will be one of five regional mega-sites throughout Orange County. Despite the lineup of cars hours before the center is set to open, officials said people would need an appointment before receiving the vaccination.

It's not clear where the next site will be opened, but county officials have an agreement with Knott's Berry Farm as another location to inoculate residents. Also under consideration are the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa and possibly UC Irvine.

The mega-sites are technically called ``super PODS,'' an acronym for Point of Distribution.

“We don't have all of these things worked out,'' Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Andrew Do said of other possible sites. ``A lot of it will depend on the amount of vaccines that will be coming to Orange County. There's no point setting up Super PODS if we don't have vaccines to keep it running.''

The county's goal is to inoculate 7,000 residents daily at each site, Do said.

“If you open up one more site that's 14,000 a day,'' he told City News Service. "That's a lot. That's almost 100,000 a week. So the question is do we get that quantity? We hope so, but that's a very ambitious goal.''

Ultimately, the county will be shooting to vaccinate at least 2 million people to achieve the 60% to 70% herd immunity that would halt the virus' spread, Do said.

“How do you vaccinate 2 million people like twice -- so that's four million doses,'' he said. 

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots, about three to four weeks apart.

But officials say the county can't just repurpose its testing sites into vaccination sites because COVID-19 is still rampaging through the community.

County officials took the initiative on vaccine distribution as hospital officials were too busy caring for the surge of patients to also handle inoculations.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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