49ers put best foot forward in COVID fight


Levi’s Stadium largest vaccination site in California Image: Turner Construction

Stadia have again come to the fore – this time serving as vaccination centers – with the new variant of COVID-19 creating more menace -especially in Europe and the United States.

To this end, a mass COVID-19 vaccination site opened on February 9th, 2021, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara (US), with the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, representatives of the San Francisco 49ers and Santa Clara County officials present to make it official.

The 68,500-capacity Levi’s Stadium is an American football stadium located in Santa Clara, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area in US. It has served as the home venue for the National Football League’s (NFL’s) San Francisco 49ers since 2014.

The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They compete in the NFL as a member of the league’s National Football Conference West division.

San Francisco 49ers sources stated that 500 people received their first jab of coronavirus vaccine. The plan is to give shots to 15,000 people daily, however, initially, 5,000 people will be vaccinated daily and the figure would reach 15,000 once vaccine supplies increase.

Earlier, the San Francisco 49ers and the County of Santa Clara announced that Levi’s Stadium would serve as a vaccination site to facilitate the rapid rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to the residents of Santa Clara County.

Remarked 49ers President Al Guido, “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. 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 site is being staffed and operated by the County of Santa Clara Health System.

The Santa Clara County Health System (officially the County of Santa Clara Health System) is the public healthcare system of Santa Clara County, California, United States. It comprises County-owned hospitals and clinics, health-related County agencies and a health insurance plan.

Observed Mike Wasserman, President, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, “We appreciate the 49ers stepping up during this difficult time and providing valuable space and resources in the fight against COVID-19. Sports bind communities together and the 49ers helping to vaccinate our community show true leadership and winning teamwork.”

San Francisco 49ers sources added that all parties worked through the sweat of their brows to ensure the vaccination site could open on time. Levi’s Stadium staffs, working in tune with the County Health System leaders, local contractors, and healthcare workers, is uniquely qualified to carry out the major logistical operation as safely and in the most efficient way and in a streamlined manner possible.

Noted Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, “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. 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.”

Opined County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, “The 49ers are always willing to show up for our community in good times and in trying times. They fully understand the needs of Santa Clara County and the importance of efficient, fast and equitable distribution of the vaccine to our residents. They know how to make it work at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers have been a bright spot to so many of our residents throughout the pandemic and we applaud them for this partnership.”

Joining the initiative and the partnership is the longtime partner of the 49ers and active community member in the Bay Area – clothing company Levi Strauss & Co. They are helping to spread awareness regarding vaccinations and helped the site come online.

Commented Jen Sey, Global Brand President, Levi Strauss & Co., “We are proud to see Levi’s Stadium become a vaccination site for the Bay Area community. We commend the 49ers and the County of Santa Clara for coming together to meet the urgent need to expand vaccine distribution to as many local citizens as possible.”

Levi Strauss & Co. is an American clothing company known worldwide for its Levi’s brand of denim jeans.

The stadium vaccination hub requires prior appointments and will serve Santa Clara County residents 65 and above and County health workers in the State’s current tier of eligibility.

The NFL has put its best foot forward and Levi’s was one of the first NFL stadia to be approved as a mass vaccination site before the league stepped up initiative to offer up all 30 of its venues in the drive to get millions of Americans vaccinated.

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.

Vaccine shortage

Governor Newsom said the only stumbling block in the effort to vaccinate all Californians is supply. He indicated, based on his weekly call with the Biden administration, the State would be receiving a little more than 1 million vaccine doses over the next three weeks.

Santa Clara County Associate Health Director Dr. Jennifer Tong said the County Health system has administered more than 113,000 first doses to date and has more than 40,000 appointments in the coming week. An additional 100,000 first shots have been given by other health providers across the County.

She too stated that lack of supply was the main challenge – “We sincerely hope we are able to continue to maintain this capacity and that it’s not disrupted by decreases in our vaccine allocation by decisions that are beyond our local control here. We have built both the infrastructure and the human power to get vaccines in arms as quickly as possible.”

People with appointments will park their cars in the main parking lot and walk into the arena. Transportation facilities will be available for the aged and disabled to get them from their cars to the stadium.

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