States open coronavirus vaccine "megasites" at stadiums, fairgrounds
States across the U.S. are opening stadiums, fairgrounds, convention centers and other large spaces as COVID-19 vaccine "megasites" as they ramp distribution of the shots.
Driving the news: Many states are moving to the next phase of the biggest vaccination drive in history, making vaccines available to new groups, including seniors, teachers, first responders and other essential workers.
- State and local health departments have their own systems for determining who gets the vaccine during each phase.
The big picture: Phase two comes after a slow start to the U.S. vaccine rollout, which began last month. The first doses went to mostly health care workers and nursing home residents and staff. They will still need to receive the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
- Nearly 9 million people — 2.7% of the U.S. population — had received the first dose of the vaccine as of Monday morning, per the CDC. More than 25.4 million doses have been distributed.
Many states have started to open new vaccine distribution sites, including some that will be open 24/7.
- Arizona, which has the highest COVID-19 diagnosis rate in the U.S., is opening a 24/7 distribution site at the State Farm Stadium, home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, in suburban Phoenix, per AP.
- California is opening up several distribution centers, including turning Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium testing site into a vaccine distribution facility. Health officials will also open a “vaccination super station” in the parking lot of a ballpark in San Diego.
- Florida is using Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens as a vaccine site.
- Kentucky is using its fairgrounds in Louisville for its drive-thru vaccination campaign.
- Michigan is turning Detroit's TCF convention center into a vaccine distribution site.
- New York has opened several 24/7 distribution facilities across the state to dispense shots.
- New Jersey is using malls and its convention center in Philadelphia as vaccine megasites.
- Texas is using the Dallas County fairgrounds and Minute Maid Park in Houston for its vaccination efforts.