Disneyland to host Orange County's first massive vaccination site

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Disneyland, which remains closed to visitors, is set to host a massive COVID-19 vaccination site, Orange County officials announced Monday.

The theme park property will host what Orange County calls 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.

The vaccination site at the park is expected to become operational later this week. Officials are already urging the public to not show up, even if they are within an eligible group, without an appointment.

"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," Gov. Gavin Newsom said. "That's why we're speeding up the administration, not just for priority groups, but also now opening up large sites to do so."

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Under the goal dubbed "Operation Independence," health care officials in O.C. are aiming to complete all vaccinations by July 4.

"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 county Supervisor Andrew Do, 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. 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," said Dr. Pamela Hymel, Chief Medical Officer, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

The announcement comes after Petco Park in San Diego opened Monday as a vaccination site. Dodger Stadium is transitioning from a testing site to a vaccination location and is also expected to open by the end of this week.

The California Department of Public Health is managing who can get the vaccine. Doses are currently available for people who fall into Group 1A, which includes law enforcement, first responders and those over the age of 75. By next month, education and childcare workers, and people 65 to 74, and the homeless are expected to have access.

More information about vaccine distribution and prioritization in Orange County is available here.

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Disneyland has remained closed to the public for nearly 10 months under the state's stay-at-home orders.

The Downtown Disney shopping district is open with limited capacity and safety precautions in place.

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