Getting a Shot at Dodger Stadium

By Alyssa Erdley

Observer Staff

If you're thinking of going to Dodger Stadium to get yourself or an elderly loved one vaccinated, I can give you the lowdown here, having been there yesterday. Let me begin by saying that all of the workers at the Stadium were invariably kind and polite and eager to help. They were working very hard. Having said that, the operation could use the advice of experts in the field of drive-through - and I'm unclear as to why they haven't done so.

Here's the basic lowdown: your appointment time is meaningless. No one will ask you about it. Arrive whenever you have the best two hours of the day to kill - because that's how long it took us. Two hours between arriving at 11:00 am where we joined the back of the line on Academy Road outside the Golden State Gate entrance to the injection in the arm.

Once inside the campus, cars are moved serpentine fashion through the parking lot, as in a line for a popular attraction at Disneyland. If you are driving, you will not have the leisure to work on the laptop you brought or do more than type a quick text on your phone as you must keep moving through the line, a few feet every few seconds.

Why? Why keep cars moving? Why not have people park - there was plenty of room for it - and come fetch a batch for the next round of vaccinations? I expended a quarter tank of gas during those two hours.

Another problem associated with the constraint of continuous moving in a line was the issue of needing a bathroom. If you are by yourself, forget it. No can do. And if you have a driver, then good luck finding your car again after you have finished using one of the few outhouses scattered through the parking lot.

Finally, you graduate to a double-file line of cars heading toward the set of canopies where the vaccinations are taking place. Now matters progress at a faster pace. Soon you will be directed to a line, each about five-six vehicles, set beside a series of canopies. Still, you will be waiting. For what, I am not sure.

Eventually, we were asked to produce the QR code that arrived via email with our appointment confirmation. We had agonized before coming to the site about the proper documentation to bring. My elderly relative had brought her driver's license and a bank statement for proof of LA county residence. She was not asked to produce either. All she had to know was her date of birth.

The injection itself was done very quickly by an efficient and kind attendant, who warned my relative even as she was squeezing in the vaccine that she still needed to be careful.

We were then handed her vaccine card - they are giving the Moderna vaccine at Dodger Stadium After that, we had thought we would be directed to park elsewhere in order to wait the recommended fifteen minutes in case of allergic reaction. We were not. Instead, we - and the other cars in our short line - waited right where we were for ten minutes. We blocked the ability of the next batch of people who could have been receiving the vaccine. Why?

There is no shame in asking experts in the field for advice and experience. Chick-fil-A can move more than 95 cars through their fast-food lines in an hour. They experiment on ways to shave seconds off wait times. All those seconds add up and more profit is accumulated. The motivation is high for innovation, and they - and fast-food chains like them - have learned a lot about how to move a line. Give them a chance to improve this. More people will be vaccinated more quickly.


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