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Dodger Stadium Vaccination Site Temporarily Shut Down by Anti-Vaccine Protest

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The Dodger Stadium COVID-19 vaccination supersite was temporarily closed due to anti-vaccine protesters blocking the entrance of the baseball park on Jan. 30.

The stadium, which is one of California’s largest points of dispensing (POD), was shut down for 55 minutes by the Los Angeles Fire Department as a precaution around 2 p.m. 50 anti-vaccine protesters were present at the protest.

 “The LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] responded, and the site resumed operations. No appointments were affected. We remain committed to vaccinating Angelenos as quickly and safely as possible,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Press Secretary Andrea Garcia said.

Protesters held signs at the entrance with messages that included “Save your soul turn back now,” “COVID=Scam” and “End the lockdown.” Protesters did not follow COVID-19 safety measures, such as wearing masks and staying six feet apart.

German Jaquez, a witness to the protest who was waiting in line to get vaccinated, said protesters confronted people in line and said to not get the vaccine, claiming that it is dangerous and the coronavirus is not real.

“Unbelievable. If you don’t want the vaccine fine, but there are millions of Angelenos that do. 16,000 of your neighbors have died, so get out of the way,” LA City Council President Nury Martinez tweeted.

Protesters organized the rally through the Facebook page “Shop Mask Free Los Angeles,”  which has since reopened recently after being taken down. The page has approximately 3,209 followers as of Feb. 15. The page has promoted false information about COVID-19, including the claim that masks are unnecessary. Many people said protesters should have been arrested since many were not following safety protocols.

“We are aware of social media posts referring to protestors showing up at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 vaccination site. Preliminary reports are that protestors remained peaceful. The LAPD did NOT close the gates, and per LA City Fire, all scheduled vaccines will be delivered,” the LAPD said on Twitter.

“CA is working around the clock to provide life-saving vaccines to those on the frontlines of this pandemic. We will not be deterred or threatened. Dodger Stadium is back up and running,”  California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted, in response to the Dodger Stadium protest.

Liliana Huerta is a City News Intern for the 2021 winter quarter. She can be reached at lshuerta@uci.edu.