Citi Field, home of New York Mets, opens as vaccination site
The New York Mets’ home, Citi Field, joined Yankee Stadium on Wednesday in offering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible New Yorkers, but a lack of supply means only a few hundred people a day will initially get shots there.
The Citi Field vaccination hub will be reserved for taxi drivers, food service workers and vaccine-eligible residents of the borough of Queens.
“This site will be for the people of Queens; it will be for folks who take care of us and protect us and serve us as taxi drivers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said after touring the vaccination site. “It’ll be the place for folks who work in food service. Working people, essential workers who have given their all to us during this crisis, and we need to be there for them.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced two new mass vaccination sites will open up in Brooklyn and Queens on Feb. 24 in hopes of expanding access to vulnerable minority communities.
He said New York hopes to vaccinate as many as 3,000 people a day at each site, and he acknowledged there’s a long way to go to build trust with communities who might be skeptical.
He said the sites will receive doses from a “special federal allocation.”
But Cuomo didn’t say how many doses they’ll get, by when and whether they will represent new doses or be transferred.
Yankee Stadium opened as a mass vaccination site last week, available only to Bronx residents who meet New York state’s criteria for vaccine eligibility.
De Blasio said he hopes to see more vaccine doses shifted to Citi Field so the site can inoculate thousands of people a day, up from the just 250 who he said would be able to get shots on Wednesday.
“By next week we’ll be able to do 4,000 doses a week at this site,” said the mayor, who was flanked by team mascots Mr. Met and Mrs. Met. ”But if we had enough vaccine supply, we will be doing 5,000 doses a day here at Citi Field.”
Despite the relatively modest start to the effort, de Blasio called opening day for vaccinations at Citi Field “the beginning of something big.”
Riffing on the movie “Field of Dreams,” he added, “When vaccinations are here, people will come here. If you build it, they will come.”
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