Small crowd protests outside Dodger Stadium vaccination site
A handful of protesters demonstrated outside the vaccine distribution site at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, but authorities reported no major issues.
The protest started around noon and drew 20 to 30 people, said LAPD Officer Sean Murray. No arrests had been reported by 2 p.m., nor were vaccination efforts interrupted, he said.
Last month, a demonstration by anti-vaccination and far-right protesters prompted Los Angeles Fire Department officials to briefly close the main entrance to the stadium as a precaution as maskless protesters roamed through the long queues of cars, intimidating people and stalling their entry.
After the incident, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said future disruptions would be met with quick arrests. Protesters would be confined to an area near the stadium’s entrance in an effort to balance people’s 1st Amendment rights with the need to keep the site operating, he said.
The latest demonstration came as Los Angeles County public health officials continued to see infections drop, on Saturday reporting 1,730 new cases of the coronavirus and 94 deaths. There were 1,661 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals as of Friday, a drop of nearly 50% from two weeks before.
The organizer behind the Dodger Stadium vaccine protest said the group didn’t mean to shut it down. Buoyed by the attention, he vows more to come.
Still, some experts have expressed fears of a potential “fourth wave” of new cases, particularly as the vaccination campaign has been slow to get underway, while several more transmissible variants of the virus are on the rise throughout the nation.
In California, they include the U.K. variant, which spreads more readily than its predecessors and may also be more deadly, as well as a homegrown variant that might also have the ability to evade antibodies generated by vaccines or prior infection.
Public health authorities are urging people to keep adhering to coronavirus rules for a little longer.
“We have been in this position before, on the downside of a surge in cases,” Barbara Ferrer, the L.A. County public health director, said in a statement. “We must not have a false confidence and must stay committed to the very safety measures that are helping to decrease our cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”
They include wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently and staying away from those in different households, she said.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.