49ers Fan of the Year organized 1st mass vaccination clinic in California

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The NFC Championship is in just days and while we all have our favorite teams, the NFL has named its top fan of each team, including the San Francisco 49ers.

Ankita Tandel is this year's 49ers Fan of the Year and she's had a huge impact on San Mateo community.

"Congratulations you are our Fan of the Year for 2021!!!"

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The moment Ankita Tandel won 49ers Fan of the Year earlier this year sure was special. Cheering on her team whether they're playing in Green Bay, at Levi's, or down in Los Angeles has been relief during a tough pandemic, especially for someone like Ankita, who pre-pandemic took a new challenge as immunization manager for San Mateo County.

"I really learned to be careful about what you wish for because it was a larger challenge than any of us were anticipating," said Tandel.

Yes, this 49ers fan went from immediately focusing on pediatric immunizations and flu shots to mass COVID vaccination sites.

"She was definitely part of standing up one of the very first mass vaccination clinics in the country," says Lizelle Lirio de Luna who is the Director for Family Health Services in San Mateo County.

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"The first time I think we had just around 200 people for our first clinic. It quickly became three or four thousand a day," says Tandel.

But that wasn't even her biggest challenge. As she and her husband tried for a second baby, Ankita knew something wasn't right as she kept getting intense migraines. Doctors found a Pituitary tumor located just beneath her brain.

"I had brain surgery a few months ago and was able to get that removed with some amazing physicians at UCSF and had a long recovery after, but I'm here and I'm tumor-free," says Tandel.

"Everything worked out at the end and we stayed positive during this whole process, we're able to overcome it and it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, I'm not allowed to share the news we have, but we have some good news on top of being the Fan of the Year," says Ankita's husband Sunil Tandel.

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And while we can't clarify that news, we can tell you that this 49ers Fan of the Year and her husband will be going to the Super Bowl, courtesy of the NFL, come February.

"She's always a great person to have on your side and on your team and just as she is the Niners' number one fan, I'm definitely a fan of her," says Lirio de Luna.

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