Disneyland Resort, closed since March, is being turned into a mass vaccination site for Californians

Disney Parks
  • Disneyland Resort will transform into a mass vaccination site to get thousands of Southern Californians their shots, government officials announced on Monday.
  • The Anaheim theme park usually has an average daily attendance of 50,000, but has been shuttered since mid-March due to coronavirus restrictions.
  • The first people to be offered a vaccine appointment at Disneyland Resort later this week will be essential workers, and those over 70 years-old.
  • Orange County plans to get all its residents immunized by Independence Day.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Disneyland Resort will become a mass vaccination site where thousands of Southern Californians can get their COVID-19 shots, local government officials announced Monday.

The theme park, closed since March, is set to become Orange County’s first “Super” point of dispensing (POD) later this week, Orange County officials said in a statement.

The Anaheim site will be one of five Super PODs where Orange County residents can get immunized to protect against COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. The other four sites have not yet been finalised.

The first people to be offered a vaccine appointment at the Disney theme park will be essential workers and those over 70 years-old.

“It’s important to vaccinate as many willing people as possible for COVID-19, and we need the space to do it,” Orange County supervisor Donald P. Wagner, representing the Third District, said.

“Residents in my district have been highly impacted by COVID-19. These Super PODs are absolutely critical in stopping this deadly virus,” Orange County supervisor Doug Chaffee, representing the Fourth District, said.

More than 2,000 people have died from the virus in Orange County, and roughly 86,000 of its 3.1 billion residents are currently infected, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Disneyland Resort — a business fundamental to the area — was forced shut in mid-March due to California’s coronavirus restrictions. The popular theme park had an average pre-pandemic daily attendance of 50,000.

Its closure contributed to Disney’s first quarterly loss in almost 20 years in August, of $US4.72 billion. Disney laid off 28,000 workers across its US business in September to minimise costs.

Vaccinating people could be beneficial to Disneyland Resort because it may be able to re-open if community infection rates are low.

“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,” Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer of Disney Parks, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Orange County plans to complete all county vaccinations by July 4 — Independence Day 2021.

“Coronavirus has brought both a public health crisis and economic devastation,” said Harry Sidhu, mayor of Anaheim.

“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,” he added.

“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,” Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer of Disney Parks, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Orange County plans to complete all vaccinations by July 4 — Independence Day 2021.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.