SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With football season over, Levi’s Stadium switched gears for a long-game intended to beat a dreaded foe.
On Tuesday morning, state, local, and team officials opened the largest COVID-19 vaccination site in the state of California.
"By opening this site, we’re taking a huge step forward in bringing an end to this pandemic," said Al Guido, the San Francisco 49ers team president.
Vaccinations will be given inside the 80,000-seat Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara and will cater to people who are busy during the day but free in the evenings. The Santa Clara County Department of Health will oversee operations. It's now the fourth mass vaccination site in Santa Clara County.
But officials said they’re also looking to set-up a drive-thru line for speedier delivery.
Initially, 5,000 vaccinations per day, for those 65 and older. But the plan is to ramp up to 15,000 per day.
"The goal is to design a system that has only one limitation. And that is supply. That has the capacity to deliver on our promotion to deliver and vaccinate everybody in the state of California that chooses to be vaccinated," said Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Experts say if the federal government can increase supply by its promised 20%, this site and others help bend the curve in the battle to reach herd immunity against the COVID-19 virus.
"I think mass vaccination sites like this is one critical piece of the puzzle," said Dr. Summer McGee, dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven. "I think, of course, it’s critical that we get those vaccine doses to the site. But it’s also just as critical that we have enough vaccinators and staff to run these facilities. So I think those three key pieces are what we need to see success in these mass vaccination sites in California."
Santa Clara County allows anyone 65 and older to make an appointment with anywhere to get vaccinated.
The Levi’s vaccination site operates alongside other county sites that already administer 6,000 doses per day.