SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- At Levi's Stadium, the largest COVID-19 mass vaccination site in California, Santa Clara County is turning its attention to youth and getting them in as soon as possible.
In partnership with the San Francisco 49ers, county officials are preparing to host three teenage vaccination nights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Members with the county's youth ambassador team joined Sourdough Sam on Monday to help spread the word.
"I chose to get vaccinated to protect my family, friends and facilitate my return to in-person school for my senior year," said Steven Luo, a local high school student who serves as a youth ambassador.
As of Monday afternoon, 75% of eligible county residents have received their first dose. But that number drops to just below 40% for those who are 16 or 17.
"It's very disheartening to hear the misinformation being spread on social media, discouraging people from being vaccinated," said local high school student Maleina Aguinaldo, who also serves a youth ambassador, and says teens can use the #49ersVaxStagePass to share their vaccination experiences at the stadium.
The first 100 students to visit each night will receive a $10 gift card to Starbucks or Chipotle from the Valley Medical Center Foundation. The county says it's critical to get more young people vaccinated and hopes some of these incentives will help.
"These sites are your sites," said Dr. Ahmad Kamal, the county's healthcare preparedness director. "These sites are made for you to get vaccinated and we are very thrilled to be welcoming more young people."
The 49ers will be giving away swag while supplies last and are offering tours of the visiting team locker room.
"All of our students, they deserve their homecoming, they deserve their senior proms, they deserve to celebration their graduations in-person," said 49ers president Al Guido. "If this is one small step that can get us back there, please all join in."
County officials say other family members can also be vaccinated at the same time. No appointments are required.
"We know that young people don't always listen to adults, and any parent listening to me, knows exactly what I'm talking about," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who played a key role in launching the youth ambassador program. "But what we do know is that teens listen to other teens."
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