In a push to get more teens vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, Santa Clara County Public Health and the 49ers joined forces. On the evenings of May 11-13, teens who visited Levi’s Stadium for their vaccine received some extra bonuses including a visit to the visitors’ locker room, selfies with the field in the background and 49ers swag.
Seventeen-year-old Alana Perez’s grandparents brought her to get the vaccine and a behind the scenes glimpse of the stadium.
“I knew it started at 5:30. We got here at four,” said Alana’s grandfather, Ernie Frausto. “They took us to the main place and they were going to get her shot there. I said, ‘No. No, you want to go to the teenager one.’”
Frausto says the vaccine will help when Perez goes to Disneyland in the summer. Perez says she’s happy to do her part.
“I think it’s important for anybody that has an opportunity to get it, to get it,” said Perez.
Santa Clara County Public Health says on Tuesday, nearly 600 teens between the ages of 16 and 20 showed up at Levi’s to get their COVID-19 vaccines. That number grew as news of the walk-in vaccine clinic spread and the age limit to receive the vaccine decreased to 12 years of age and older.
On Wednesday, nearly 1,200 people between 12 and 20 showed up at Levi’s Stadium. On Thursday, there were close to 3,400 people in that same age group.
May Thiers, a mom of a 12-year-old and 15-year-old, says the minute she heard the vaccine age limit was decreasing, she rushed out to the stadium.
“The school sent out an email saying that 5:30 to 7:30 for three days, students only, but it was for 16 and above. But today I found out the news changed. So, I just walked in with them,” said Thiers during her visit to Levi’s Stadium on Wednesday. “We’ll feel better. So that means even if we still get COVID, the symptoms will be very minimal, and that reduces the risks of all the heavy symptoms and stuff.”
Thiers says the vaccines are especially welcome because the family plans to visit her parents in Taiwan over the summer. They haven’t seen her parents in over two years. Her son says he’s happy to be able to get his doses in before they leave.
“I thought I’d have to wait till June to get my vaccine,” said 15-year-old Alex Thiers. “So, then we’ll be able to get the second dose before we leave on our trip. We’re going to Taiwan to visit our grandparents. There aren’t many cases there.”
Alannah, 17, says the red carpet treatment was a surprise when she showed up at Levi’s Stadium for her second dose. She’s happy to think about what being fully vaccinated means for her summer plans.
“I just wanted to get my second vaccination so I can help this state move on. Open up,” said Alannah. “I think just meeting up with friends [will be different]. We’ve been really cautious about COVID and now that we’ve got our vaccines, I think it’s going to be a lot easier to do. Yeah, just hang out in the summer and stuff like that. I think that’d be the biggest change.”
Anyone 12 years of age and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. You can schedule an appointment at Levi’s Stadium or visit www.sccfreevax.org to find a drop in site near you.