Levi’s Stadium will open next week as state’s largest COVID vaccination site, Santa Clara County says – The Mercury News

The largest coronavirus vaccination site in California will sit in the heart of Silicon Valley and the home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara will serve as a mass vaccination location with an initial capacity of 5,000 shots per day when it opens early next week, eventually ramping up to 15,000 per day, the 49ers announced Friday in partnership with Santa Clara County.

“We recognize the urgent need for an effective and equitable vaccination effort for our community and are proud to partner with the County of Santa Clara to bring this vaccination site online as quickly and efficiently as possible,” 49ers President Al Guido said in a statement. “We have brought every resource at our disposal to bear on this challenge to ensure members of the community we live in each and every day can be vaccinated safely and quickly.”

The Levi’s Stadium site will be operated by Santa Clara County’s public health department and open to all eligible county residents. Earlier this week, the county announced all residents 65 and older were eligible to book their appointments.

“The only way we are going to get through this pandemic is together, which is why I am pleased to see this collaborative approach to get our residents vaccinated at scale,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg said in a statement. “Our County has a history of leading and opening California’s largest vaccination site in partnership with the 49ers is just another example of this.”

While Levi’s Stadium is not the first sports venue in the state to be used as a vaccination site, it will be be largest once it is fully operational. In Southern California, Petco Park and Dodger Stadium have also been utilized to distribute vaccines. When the Dodger Stadium site launched last month, Los Angeles officials hoped to reach a capacity of 12,000 shots a day.

In Oakland, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week that the first large-scale federal vaccination site will launch at the home of the Athletics, the Oakland Coliseum.

The 49ers had previously offered up Levi’s Stadium for use by the county, but county officials, while receptive to the offer, said the biggest obstacle to getting shots into arms is less an issue of distribution but a lack of supply. Although the site will open with a capacity of 5,000 shots per day, there are plans to increase the pace to 15,000 a day “as vaccine supplies increase,” according to the news release.

Now, the organization’s offer is coming to fruition, with the largest vaccination site in California set to launch at its home early next week.