VACCINATION: California state criticized for slow vaccination campaign has opened up vaccination to people over 65
A vaccination “mega-centre” opened its doors on Wednesday in one of the parking lots of the famous Disneyland theme park in Anaheim. It has been closed for ten months by the California authorities due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Several hundred people, caregivers and residents of Orange County aged 65 and over, had already shown up in the afternoon to receive a first injection of the coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine in large white tents, a noted an AFP journalist. “Today, for many people who have just been vaccinated, it is truly the happiest place in the world,” Orange County official Lisa Bartlett told reporters, using the official slogan of Disneyland.
Seven thousand daily vaccinations
Orange County announced Monday evening the choice of the Disneyland parking lot for its “mega-centre” of vaccine administration and had already received more than 10,000 registrations the next day. The distribution of the coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine in California has been the target of criticism, the most populous US state (40 million inhabitants), so far posting one of the lowest rates in the country.
The Disneyland site should administer 7,000 doses of vaccine every day when it has ramped up. Local officials hope it will help reopen the local economy and especially tourism, which has been hit hard by the pandemic that has caused the closure of amusement parks.
The age limit lowered to 65
Some 10 million people, or about 3% of the total population of the United States, had received the first injection on Wednesday of one of the two vaccines against Covid-19 authorized in the country, announced the American health authorities.
In California, in order to boost the pace of vaccinations, authorities announced Wednesday lowering the age required to benefit from the vaccine at this stage, now offering it to all people aged 65 and over.
Orange County had already taken this decision at its level as part of an operation called “Independence”, which aims to vaccinate its population of more than three million people by July 4, the American national holiday. California, especially the South, has become one of the main hotbeds of the coronavirus in recent months. The number of cases since early December has more than doubled to 2.75 million, and the 30,000 death mark was crossed on Tuesday.