On Monday, Jan. 11, Orange County officials announced plans to convert Disneyland Resort in Anaheim into a Super Pod, a large-scale Point of Distribution (POD) site, where the county plans to inoculate thousands of people with the COVID-19 vaccine per day.

As a part of “Operation Independence” Orange County announced a partnership with the Irvine-based Orange County Fire Authority, and will be establishing four regional Super PODs, in addition to the COVID-19 Super POD currently being set up at Disneyland resort, now the county’s first.

“The Disneyland Resort, the largest employer in the heart of Orange County, has stepped up to host the county’s first Super POD site – undertaking a monumental task in our vaccination distribution process,” said acting Chairman Andrew Do, First District. “We truly appreciate the support of the Orange County Fire Authority, our cities, and our residents as we continue to rollout COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the county.”

The Disneyland Super POD is expected to be operational later this week. In a statement, Don Wagner, Third District Supervisor, thanked the city of Anaheim for playing a role in Orange County’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts.

“It’s important to vaccinate as many willing people as possible for COVID-19, and we need the space to do it,” Wagner said. “I thank Disneyland Resort and the city of Anaheim for stepping up in the shared effort to give OC residents protection against the virus.”

As of Jan. 8, the Orange County Health Care Agency’s COVID-19 Task Force had reported a total of 56,099 COVID-19 vaccination doses distributed countywide.

Speaking about the total statewide distribution of COVID-19 vaccine to the Orange County Board Of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, HCA Director Dr. Clayton Chau said he thought the total was “quite low,” and urged those eligible in the Phase 1A population to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

In an effort to increase the volume of vaccinations distributed, and protect the most vulnerable, Chau said the county would include all persons 65 years and older within the county’s Phase 1A population COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

During his speech, Chau said Southern California’s intensive care unit capacity is still impacted, with older individuals taking more than 70 percent of capacity.  

“When we look at who is occupying the ICU beds, 72 percent of those in the ICU in Orange County are seniors aged 62 years and older,” he said. “Our ICU capacity dropped because our most vulnerable population keep going in for those beds. We will start to vaccinate seniors, the age 65 and older in Orange County, and add them into the Phase 1A population.”