California will transform a Disneyland theme park into a COVID-19 vaccine distribution site to accelerate treatments in the state which is running short on hospital beds.
The original theme park of the Disney entertainment conglomerate - called the "happiest place on earth" - has been shut since mid-March as part of COVID-19 restrictions.
Now it is set to be one of several mass vaccine distribution sites in California - which reports say has lagged behind in its goals with distributors delivering a third only of its available doses. The state has prioritized vaccinating health care workers and long-term care residents before distributing the medicines generally.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, California ranks 42nd out of 50 states in terms of vaccination rates. The state is vaccinating residents at a rate of about 100,000 people, the agency's data show.
Daily coronavirus cases in California have continued to climb - reaching close to 40,000 Tuesday. State officials said hospitals now had fewer than 1,200 ICU beds available.
Officials said the Disneyland theme park in Orange County would temporarily become the region's first "super distribution site." Orange County supervisor Andrew Do said with the theme park conversion it should significantly increase its daily vaccination capacity.
California might convert other resorts and parks into vaccination sites. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state had looked at the Los Angeles' Dodgers stadium and San Diego's Petco Park as sites.
"We recognize that the current strategy is not going to get us to where we need to go as quickly as we all need to go. That's why we're speeding up the administration not just for priority groups but opening up large sites to do so," Newsom said.
Overall, the U.S. has now seen 22.6 million positive COVID-19 cases with more than 376,000 fatalities.