ANAHEIM, Calif. — People can get vaccinated for the coronavirus at the happiest place on Earth.
Starting later this week, Orange County residents and those who work in Orange County who meet California's Phase 1a criteria will be able to receive their vaccine for COVID-19 at a parking lot at Disneyland Resort.
"Disneyland Resort is proud to help support Orange County and the city of Anaheim with the use of our property, and we are grateful for all of their efforts to combat COVID-19," Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel said in a statement. "After a year in which so many in our community have faced unprecedented hardship and uncertainty, there is no reason for optimism with the administration of a vaccine."
The Disneyland site is Orange County's first super Point-of-Dispensing (POD) site. The county will have five super pod sites in an attempt to vaccinate thousands of residents a day, county officials said in a news release.
The move comes as state and local officials begin to make plans to accelerate the coronavirus vaccine's distribution and administering.
Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the statewide vaccine rollout has "gone too slowly." The state has received 1.3 million vaccines, but only a third have been administered.
"We are working aggressively to accelerate our pace," Newsom said, according to reports. "You're going to start seeing more rapid distribution of this vaccine, I can assure you that now."
Orange County officials said they plan to provide multiple vaccine distribution points throughout the county. The locations will be announced as agreements are finalized, officials said.
The vaccine distribution is based on a tiered prioritization list by the state. Phase 1a includes healthcare workers and long-term care residents. About 3 million people are in this category. The group will also include law enforcement first responders who work in high-risk areas and seniors 75 and older. The Phase 1b tier includes those who work in education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture, according to the state.
County officials said the goal is to vaccinate all residents who want a vaccine by July.
Disney is providing the county with a guest parking lot at 300 West Katella Blvd. in Anaheim, also known as the Toy Story Parking Lot. Disney cast members will not get any preferential treatment. County officials said those eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1a would be contacted through their employer to schedule an appointment.
Disneyland Resort's two theme parks remain closed due to state orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Downtown Disney remains open.