Jan 11, 2021 - Health

States open coronavirus vaccine "megasites" at stadiums, fairgrounds

A health worker volunteer wearing a facemask and eye protection checks for appointments from arrivals for Covid-19 testing at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is turning its testing site at Dodger Stadium into a vaccination site. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

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.
People arrive to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a drive through site at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images
People arrive to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-thru site at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Health care workers administer a COVID-19 vaccination to people at a drive thru site at the Hard Rock Stadium on January 06, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida
Two volunteers talk in the vaccination area inside of Broadbent Arena at the Kentucky State Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images
Health care workers administer a COVID-19 vaccination to people at a drive thru site at the Hard Rock Stadium on January 06, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida
Health care workers administer a COVID-19 vaccination to people at a drive-thru site at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
 Robert Bustretsky, left, receives the COVID-19 vaccine from pharmacist Khanh Pham at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, California
A man receives the COVID-19 vaccine at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, California. Photo: Randy Vazquez/Bay Area News Group/Pool/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
ignage greets people who arrive to line up for COVID-19 vaccinations at Nassau Community College on January 10, 2021 in Garden City, New York.
People arrive to line up for COVID-19 vaccinations at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
A view of the registration area of the Townsquare Mall in Rockaway, New Jersey on January 8, 2021. - Governor Murphy toured a vaccine "mega" site at a former Sears store in Morris County,
New Jersey opened a megasite at a former Sears store at the Townsquare Mall in Rockaway. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

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