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California is transforming Disneyland into a mass vaccine distribution site as the coronavirus surge overwhelms hospitals and sets a deadly new record in the state.
Orange county officials said that the Disneyland resort, located in Anaheim, would become the first of five “super point-of-dispensing” (super POD) locations with a capacity to vaccinate thousands of people every day.
Doug Chaffee, the Orange county supervisor, said in a statement that super POD sites will be “absolutely critical in stopping this deadly virus”.
The move comes as California’s Covid-19 death toll reached 30,000 on Monday, a startling figure that underscored the virus’ vast acceleration this winter. It took six months for the nation’s most populous state to reach 10,000 deaths but barely a month to jump from 20,000 to 30,000 deaths.
The state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, and public health officials are counting on widespread vaccinations to bring new infections under control, starting with medical workers and the most vulnerable elderly, such as those in care homes.
Newsom acknowledged the rollout of vaccines has been too slow and he pledged 1m shots will be administered this week, more than twice what’s been done so far.
Alongside Disneyland, the state is also planning to transform baseball stadiums and fairgrounds into vaccination hubs – including Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Petco Park in San Diego and the CalExpo fairgrounds in Sacramento. In the Bay Area, the Oakland Coliseum and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara are also being considered as mass vaccination sites.…