Instead of getting ready for playoff football, Gillette Stadium is currently preparing to serve a different purpose this year. As was announced by Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday, the New England Patriots’ stadium will soon be turned into the first mass Coronavirus vaccination site in Massachusetts.
As Baker said at a press conference, the site will initially be available to serve first responders. At a later point, it also will be opening up to others who qualify as eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 at this point in time.
The stadium operators, meanwhile, released the following statement about the facility turning into a mass vaccination site:
Gillette Stadium is accustomed to accommodating large audiences and we are honored to provide a safe location to expedite the vaccination of first responders, and to soon expand to residents throughout the Commonwealth. As we have done throughout the pandemic, Gillette Stadium and the entire Kraft Sports + Entertainment organization stand ready to assist Governor Baker and the Commonwealth in any way we can.
We are proud to do our part and grateful to the incredible team of people whose championship-caliber efforts will help save lives and defend against the spread of this virus.
While the site will open with the capacity of administering 300 vaccines per day, it is expected to distribute up to 5,000 per day over time. The first doses, meanwhile, were already given out in the Commonwealth: first responders such as police, firefighters and EMTs were already vaccinated beginning earlier this week.
Others will get vaccinated at Gillette Stadium from next Monday on. The plan is to set up additional vaccination sites throughout Massachusetts at one point thereafter.
“The big hope on the horizon is the arrival of more vaccine,” said Baker during a press conference on Tuesday. “In the meantime everybody’s still got to do their part to stop the spread of the virus in the months ahead.”