New York to turn Citi Field into ‘mega’ Covid vaccination site, mayor says

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Citi Field Baseball Stadium, home of the New York Mets Major League baseball team on September 7, 2019 in Flushing, Queens, New York.

Tim Clayton | Corbis Sport | Getty Images

New York will turn Citi Field into a “mega” 24/7 coronavirus vaccination site by the end of January with the goal of vaccinating thousands of residents daily, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

NYC Health and Hospitals will operate the site, home to the New York Mets, with the goal of giving between 5,000 and 7,000 injections per day, de Blasio said in a joint announcement with Mets owner Steve Cohen.

The announcement comes a day after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said his city would set up a vaccination site at Dodger Stadium by the end of this week. This facility will be able to deliver up to 12,000 shots per day, according to a statement from Garcetti’s office on Monday.

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“It will help so many people get vaccinated,” de Blasio said at a press briefing. “We welcome all New Yorkers. We even welcome Yankees fans; there is no discrimination.”

The mayor of New York has pushed Governor Andrew Cuomo to increase the number of people who would be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine beyond priority health workers. Cuomo granted the city’s request last week and said people 75 and older, as well as essential workers such as first responders, teachers, school staff and others across the state could be vaccinated against the disease starting this week.

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A person wearing a protective mask stands outside a Covid-19 vaccination site at Bathgate Industrial Park in the Borough of the Bronx in New York, the United States, on Monday, January 11, 2021.

David Delgado | Bloomberg | Getty Images

From Tuesday, the state will open up the Covid-19 vaccination to all people 65 and over as well as to immunocompromised young people, the Democratic governor said during a call with reporters on Tuesday morning.

It seems, however, that the problem so far has not been finding a space to vaccinate people – it has secured the supply of doses. Cuomo said the newly expanded federal guidelines apply to about 7 million people, but the state is only receiving about 300,000 doses per week.

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“I urge patience because, unfortunately, there are far more eligible New Yorkers than federal government vaccines,” Cuomo said in a tweet Tuesday.

De Blasio said the city had carried out 26,000 vaccinations on Monday. At this rate, the city will run out of vaccines in less than two weeks, he said.

“We’re going to need the doses to keep that kind of effort going,” he said.

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