With the New England Patriots not playing any postseason football this year, the team’s facility at Gillette Stadium has been transformed into a mass Coronavirus vaccination site — the first of its kind in Massachusetts. The process started with a soft launch on January 14, followed by the official vaccination process kicking off four days later for first responders and health care workers.
After starting with 300 vaccinations per day according to the State’s Phase 1 distribution timeline, the site has since increased its capacity. This has allowed it to hit a significant milestone on Wednesday: 10,000 vaccinations have been administered at Gillette Stadium so far.
“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,” the stadium operators said in a statement released earlier this month. “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.”
On Thursday, residents can start registering for an additional 20,000 new appointments that will become available at Gillette Stadium and the new mass vaccination site at Boston’s Fenway Park. While the Patriots’ facility is already in its second week of the vaccination process, the Red Sox’s stadium will open its doors next Monday.
“Due to extremely high demand for appointments and limited vaccine supply, it may take time to secure an available appointment,” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement released earlier this week. “Residents are encouraged to keep checking the website as appointments are added on a rolling basis.”
The state is planning to have 165 vaccination sites set up by mid-February. At Gillette Stadium, meanwhile, the plan is to keep increasing capacities up to 5,000 vaccinations a day.