Lines started forming in the wee hours of Friday morning, as people showed up at Dodger Stadium to get the coronavirus vaccine.
Starting at 8 a.m. Friday, anyone eligible for a coronavirus vaccine will be able to drive up to Dodger Stadium, roll down their vehicle window, and receive an injection.
“This is the proverbial Ark of our time, one among other sites to help end the global suffering,” L.A. Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell said in a tweet about the vaccination supersite’s opening day, which was attended by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Only those in skilled nursing facilities and front-line health care workers, however, are currently eligible to receive the vaccine in L.A. County, and they’d have to bring verification documents like a badge, license or pay stub if they want to get their dose at a distribution site.
About 2,000 health care workers registered through Los Angeles County’s website are expected to get an injection during Friday’s grand opening of one of the country’s largest vaccination sites.
While state residents 65 and older are now eligible for the vaccine, in L.A. County, they can’t receive it until officials finish vaccinating at least 500,000 health care industry and nursing home workers, according to officials.
Officials hope to begin vaccinating seniors by early February, along with teachers and workers in child care, emergency services, food and agriculture sectors.
Since early in the pandemic, the stadium served as one of the country’s largest coronavirus testing sites, processing up to 13,000 tests per day.
The city of L.A., however, announced on Sunday that the site would be converted to a vaccine-only center this past week.
Once fully up and running, health officials say the stadium has the capacity to inoculate about 12,000 people a day.
But managing a mass vaccine site raises more logistical challenges than a testing site, which relied largely on self-administered oral-swab tests.
Vaccine injections, meanwhile, must be performed by health professionals who will need to closely monitor each vaccine recipient. Further complicating the process, people need to be screened and then tracked down for scheduling appointments for their second dose.