Anti-vaccination protest leads to brief close of vax site entrance at Dodger Stadium

Everyone in line eventually got vaccinated, Ortiz said.

No arrests were made, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Rosario Cervantes. The LAPD later tweeted out that it was not their department that shut the gates.

“Preliminary reports are that protestors remained peaceful,” LAPD said in the tweet.

We are aware of social media posts referring to protestors showing up at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 vaccination site. Preliminary reports are that protestors remained peaceful. The LAPD did NOT close the gates, and per LA City Fire, all scheduled vaccines will be delivered. https://t.co/l5zEW3UAOt

— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) January 31, 2021

About 50 anti-vaccine protesters milling about the entrance to the Dodger Stadium coronavirus vaccination site on Saturday, Jan. 30 prompted officials to close the gate for almost an hour before the protesters dispersed.

Traffic into the stadium was halted from 1:50 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., when people carrying signs and chanting slogans marched to the gates, which officials closed to prevent demonstrators from entering the site, said David Ortiz, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

Images on social media showed people with signs reading “Covid = scam,” “99.96 survival rate,” and “Tell Bill Gates to Vaccinate Himself,” a reference to a baseless conspiracy theory that microchips would be implanted in vaccines that could be used to control the population by a New World Order.

Others chanted “This is not a vaccine,” “Sheep led to their slaughter” and “This is a treatment. You are submitting to be a lab rat in real time.”

Everyone in line eventually got vaccinated, Ortiz said.

No arrests were made, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Rosario Cervantes. The LAPD later tweeted out that it was not their department that shut the gates.

“Preliminary reports are that protestors remained peaceful,” LAPD said in the tweet.

We are aware of social media posts referring to protestors showing up at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 vaccination site. Preliminary reports are that protestors remained peaceful. The LAPD did NOT close the gates, and per LA City Fire, all scheduled vaccines will be delivered. https://t.co/l5zEW3UAOt

— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) January 31, 2021

LAPD officers were aware and prepared for the scheduled demonstration prior to protesters arriving, Cervantes said. She said she did not know how officers learned of the event and declined to discuss tactics about how officers prepared for the demonstration.

Health officials expect to vaccinate 12,000 people a day at the stadium, thought to be the largest vaccination site in the nation.

They went to Dodger Stadium https://t.co/e5uXZ5QUGd

— tony pierce (@busblog) January 30, 2021

We’re at the mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium to get my mom the vaccine. The anti–vax protestors have approached the entrance to the site. The LAPD have now closed the gate. We have been sitting here for about half an hour. Nobody is moving. pic.twitter.com/GrJPA5wrqx

— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) January 30, 2021

Neither Orange County nor City of Riverside law enforcement officials were adjusting security measures in response to Saturday’s protest at Dodger Stadium.

In Orange County, an incident management team consisting of county personnel, law enforcement and firefighters had security measures in place should such a disruption take place, Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Carrie Braun said.

Disneyland in Anaheim and Soka University in Aliso Viejo are the two largest vaccination sites in the county.

At the Riverside Convention Center, the Police Department’s civilian personnel and medical workers administering the shots would alert police in the event of a protest, spokesman Ryan Railsback said.

“We’re just a quick phone call away,” he said.

Jodi Miller of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department also said deputies would respond to calls for service as needed. The county is about to open two large sites, at the Auto Club Speedway on Tuesday, Feb. 2 and the Ontario Convention Center starting Thursday, Feb. 4.

Staff writers Nathaniel Percy and Jonah Valdez contributed to this report.

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