The mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles shut down on Saturday afternoon after dozens of protesters blocked the entrance, preventing hundreds of people from receiving their vaccine after waiting in line for hours.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the protest included anti-vaxxers and far-right conspiracy theorists who crowded the entrance while people attempted to receive their vaccine. Some demonstrators carried signs claiming the coronavirus isn’t real, and pleaded to residents not to get the vaccine.
A social media post called the protest a “SCAMDEMIC PROTEST/MARCH.” “This is a sharing information protest and march against everything COVID, Vaccine, PCR Tests, Lockdowns, Masks, Fauci, Gates, Newsom, China, digital tracking, etc,” the post read, according to the Times.
Those seeking to get vaccinated are already facing a number of hurdles, including low supply, long wait times, and structural barriers leading to unequal distribution of the doses. Even though the protest didn’t get violent, the Los Angeles Fire Department closed the stadium entrance at around 2 p.m. as a precaution. The vaccine site is typically open until 8 p.m. The LAPD announced on Twitter that "all scheduled vaccines will be delivered."
One California resident, German Jaquez, waited for an hour before the stadium’s gates were closed.
“This is the wrong message,” Jaquez said. “I’ve been waiting for weeks to get an appointment. I am a dentist; I am taking a big risk being around patients. I want to be safe for my patients and for my family. The vaccine is the only way to beat the virus.”