Vaccine Distribution Begins at Levi’s Stadium


People line up outside of Levi’s Stadium to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The line is usually around one hour long, according to the Operations Director who gave his name as Edwin. Staff photo: Sylvie Venuto.

Sylvie Venuto, News Editor

Mass COVID-19 vaccine distribution began at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Feb. 9. Under California’s vaccine prioritization plan, healthcare workers and long-term care residents are currently being vaccinated, while individuals age 65 and older can receive vaccines while supplies allow in Santa Clara County; the vaccine rollout is in Phase 1B (Tier 1 – Partial), according to the Santa Clara County website. A full Phase 1B will also include those who work in the agriculture, food, education, childcare and emergency services sectors, and those who are deemed to be at highest risk for COVID-19 by their healthcare provider will be eligible for the vaccine starting March 15.

Vaccines at Levi’s Stadium are given on an appointment-only basis. Many people who had appointments to receive vaccines at Levi’s Stadium stated that the process of signing up online was simple to follow; however, some such a as healthcare worker who gave her name as Jennifer described the experience as “frustratingly competitive.”

However, the people who received the vaccines at Levi’s Stadium expressed mixed reactions to the vaccination process. For a senior citizen couple who gave their names as Bill and Jessica, signage toward entering the correct parking lot at Levi’s Stadium was the most difficult part, as the Green Lot 1 parking lot (where the entrance to the vaccine clinic is located) has an entrance different from where GPS systems generally direct drivers, and the signage on-site was “confusing.”

Line length also created difficulties for those receiving the vaccine. Jennifer arrived at Levi’s Stadium an hour and a half before her appointment because she had heard that lines were long even with an appointment. Jennifer spent an hour in line before receiving her vaccine, and Bill and Jessica waited 50 minutes. The Operations Director who gave his name as Edwin said that the busiest hours for the vaccine are between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., and he has seen more people arriving early to their appointments. Arriving early can clog the administration process, according to Edwin.

However, Jennifer, Bill and Jessica all stated that the staff who administered the vaccine were amicable. “I couldn’t be happier with the staff. I didn’t even feel a thing. They were all very nice,” Jessica said.

Those in line for the vaccine also had differing opinions as to how having the vaccine will affect their day-to-day life. A man who gave his name as Kevin works at a company that administers COVID-19 tests and believes that receiving the vaccine will “significantly” change the way he goes about his daily life. For the senior citizen who identified himself as James Johnson, however, receiving the vaccine will not mean that he stops social distancing or wearing a mask. “I don’t really know if it will make a big difference,” Johnson said. Jennifer, Bill and Jessica all echoed Johnson’s sentiment.

Edwin, who is employed at Levi’s Stadium for all events, including 49er’s football games, was offered a COVID-19 vaccine because he is directing people as they wait to get their vaccines. Edwin stated that while some of his operations team received the vaccine, it was not mandatory, and some — including him — chose not to receive it.

“I don’t have time,” Edwin said. Edwin said that he would also like to do more research into the safety of the vaccine before receiving it.

Appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations are available for eligible groups from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday and from 9:00 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Appointments can be made at the County of Santa Clara Emergency Operations Center

More information about the myths and facts around COVID-19 vaccines is located here.