Amusement Parks Becoming Super Vaccination Sites For COVID-19 Vaccine
In response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, many amusement parks have been unable to open — while other parks have opened with limited capacity and precautions in place. This week, a few parks have reopened their gates, not to host guests, but rather operate as a super vaccination site.
A super vaccination site is a location where large amounts of people can safely receive the COVID-19 injection via walk-through or drive-thru. The benefits of hosting vaccinations at a amusement park or entertainment complex is that large numbers of people can be vaccinated at once, speeding up the vaccination for members in the community.
One of the first parks to utilize this speedy process was Disneyland in California. A vaccination event was held in the Toy Story Parking Lot. According to reports, 10,000 people signed up for vaccinations at the Disneyland site, and over 3000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered last Wednesday. Andrew Do, chairman of Orange County’s board of supervisors, says they will soon be able to inoculate 7,000 people a day there.
Other parks across the country are beginning to organize vaccination events with local governments. Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania- has set up tents in their parking lot in order to host a mass vaccination event.
Tana Korpics, spokeswoman for Dorney Park, has confirmed with media outlets that work has begun in preparing the operation, with temporary tents in place in the amusement park’s parking lot.
Lehigh Valley Health Network hospital officials reported that the first mass vaccination clinic at Dorney Park was fully booked in less than 24 hours.
The drive-through clinic is planned from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday January 27 in the paring lot of Dorney Park, where LVHN plans to vaccinate those 75 and older who were able to make an appointment. Future dates have not yet been announced and it’s not clear exactly how many doses will be given Wednesday. LVHN officials have noted that they hope to administer up to 5,000 vaccinations per clinic.
Six Flags Great America just outside of Chicago is currently being considered as a host location — while Six Flags Magic Mountain in California was one of five venues selected to be part of Los Angeles County’s mass vaccination drive. The county’s plan is to vaccinate 20,000 a day (approximately 4,000 per site). The move was done to finish the vaccinations of health care workers before moving to elderly and at-risk individuals.
Officials in Florida are now considering using Walt Disney World for a super vaccination site, even though the park is operating with guests. The resort is in talks with government officials about using select parts of Disney’s property to host the events. WDW is seen as a prime candidate due to the resort’s available space as well as having a large number of refrigerators, which is essential in safely storing the vaccines.
If these vaccination drives are successful, it is likely that local governments will request amusement parks in their region to host more drives. Whether these drives will affect park operation is yet to be seen, but hopefully it will contribute to a quicker resolution of the pandemic.