Irvine city council will decide Jan. 26 whether to designate the Orange County Great Park as the region’s next major COVID-19 vaccination site.
If approved, the proposal will license the County of Orange to operate a super point of distribution (POD) at the park with the goal of vaccinating at least 20,000 people per day.
This will supplement the two sites already approved for operations in the county: Disneyland in Anaheim, and Soka University in Aliso Viejo. The Orange County Fair Grounds in Costa Mesa is said to have been tapped as a fourth site, though a spokesperson for the facility could not confirm the report Jan. 26.
Orange County partnered with the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) and, if approved, the City of Irvine to use the Great Park as a super POD.
The facility would be operated and staffed by OCFA and Orange County Heath Care Agency personnel. City staff would provide support on an as-needed basis.
The vaccination center would occupy Hangar 244, the Artist Studio Building, and the plaza areas surrounding these buildings.
Parking will be provided in the Festival Lot, located near the facilities.
Irvine has requested that all personnel working at the site be vaccinated, regardless of their priority category.
Meantime, the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan Jan. 26 to establish the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Pilot Program, designed to improve direct access to vaccinations for individuals who live in the hardest-hit communities by the pandemic.
“Direct access to the COVID-19 vaccine among our most vulnerable individuals is critical,” board Chairman Andrew Do said in a Jan. 26 press release. “Today’s action will help prioritize our Medi-Cal eligible seniors to receive their vaccine, most of whom do not have access to the Internet.”
Do is also chairman of CalOptima, Orange County’s largest health insurer. It provides health services to more than 800,000 low-income children, adults, and people with disabilities in the region.
Vice chairman Doug Chaffee—who authored the plan with Do—will help make vaccines more accessible.
Said Chaffee in a release: “As we broaden our vaccine distribution plan in Orange County, it is imperative that we focus on equity as a key principle and work with CalOptima to identify and address disparities in access to the vaccine for our vulnerable populations.”