Los Angeles converts Dodger Stadium test site into vaccine center
Jan 12, 2021 - 06:46 AM
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles will convert its huge Dodger Stadium coronavirus testing site into a mass vaccination center this week, officials said, as the hard-hit city races to ramp up its sluggish inoculation program.
Currently the nation’s largest testing site, the baseball stadium’s parking lot will be used to more than triple the daily vaccinations administered in the nation’s second-largest city, and eventually serve 12,000 people daily, the mayor’s office said.
“From early on in this pandemic, Dodger Stadium has been home base for our testing infrastructure,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said late Sunday.
“Vaccines are the surest route to defeating this virus and charting a course to recovery,” he added.
The move follows mounting criticism of Los Angeles’ vaccination campaign, which has seen less than one-third of roughly half a million doses received from Pfizer and Moderna administered so far.
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom said California’s vaccination rollout was “not good enough,” and vowed to inoculate an additional one million over nine days while earmarking $372 million from his annual budget.
Dodger Stadium will end its current testing role late Monday before undergoing a transition “into a mass vaccination center by the end of the week,” a statement said.
More than a million free Covid-19 tests have been conducted at the site, and its transformation will temporarily reduce testing availability for Los Angeles county’s 10 million residents, officials said.
Los Angeles has become one of the pandemic’s epicenters in recent weeks, with another 14,500 cases recorded in the county on Sunday alone.
Some 920,000 inhabitants — nearly one in 10 — have been infected at some point.