LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Authorities could set up a protest zone at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 vaccine site following Saturday's demonstration which temporarily shut down the site.
A spokesperson for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told CBSLA Sunday that in the event of a future protest, the city will set up a protest zone.
"The city is reviewing vaccine site safety protocol and will be setting up a protest zone in the event of any future protests," mayor's spokesperson Andrea Garcia said in a statement.
On Saturday afternoon, Los Angeles police were forced to close the gates to the vaccination site for nearly an hour after about 50 anti-vaccine protesters caused a disruption while hundreds of cars were lined up.
When the gates closed, everyone inside received their vaccines, while those locked out got their shots after the protesters left.
There were no arrests and no appointments had to be canceled, Garcia said.
"And in a place like Los Angeles, where we have, not only high transmission, but our own circulating variant, we cannot risk having a major disruption in one of our major vaccination sites in the city," Epidemiologist Jessica Malaty Rivera told CBSLA Monday.
The incident prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to tweet Saturday, "We will not be deterred or threatened. Dodger Stadium is back up and running."
Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Leon called what occurred at Dodger Stadium Saturday "intimidation, not protests."
"Anyone obstructing vaccinations must be held accountable," de Leon tweeted.
A post on social media described the demonstration as the "Scamdemic Protest/March," the Los Angeles Times reported. It advised participants to "please refrain from wearing Trump/MAGA attire as we want our statement to resonate with the sheeple. No flags but informational signs only," according to The Times.
Currently, L.A. County is only vaccinating healthcare workers, residents and employees of nursing homes and those over age 65.
The county has struggled to meet the great demand. It has so far received over 853,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. It's expected to get another 188,000 doses this week. Many of those, however, will be needed to administer second shots to people who have already received the first dose of the two-dose regimen.
Dodger Stadium is by far the largest of five vaccination sites operated by the city of L.A. Garcetti said last month that when there are finally enough doses, Dodger Stadium will be capable of vaccinating up to 12,000 people per day.
There are also another seven large-scale vaccination sites being run by the L.A. County Public Health Department. They are located at Magic Mountain, the Pomona Fairplex, The Forum, Cal State Northridge, El Sereno Recreation Center, the L.A. County Office of Education in Downey and the Balboa Sports Complex in Encino.
On Monday morning, there were no vaccine appointments available for either the city or county sites.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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