Fenway Park, the home of Major League Baseball (MLB) team Boston Red Sox, has become the latest major US sports venue to be confirmed as a mass vaccination site, while a number of stadia and arenas in England are being engaged as part of the fight against COVID-19.
The office of Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker, confirmed the news yesterday (Tuesday), with the historic stadium having also been used as an early voting centre during the recent US elections.
Fenway Park will be the state’s second mass vaccination site and will open on February 1. Initially, the ballpark is scheduled to administer 500 vaccines per day by appointment and will ramp up to providing 1,000 vaccines per day to eligible residents in Phase One priority groups.
The site is expected to stay open through the beginning of baseball season in early April. Last week, the Baker Administration announced Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots, as the first mass vaccination site, which opened for eligible Phase One groups on Monday.
This week, the site is expected to work up to administering over 1,000 vaccinations per day, and soon after, 5,000 vaccinations per day.
In England, Totally Wicked Stadium, the home of Super League rugby league champions St Helens, became one of 10 new large-scale vaccination centres that opened their doors on Monday. The venue becomes the first such centre for the region of Merseyside.
St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus told the St Helens Star newspaper: “The first thing to stress is that these are awful times, and clearly this is not something we would ever have envisaged or desired. But I think we should thank all those who played their part in establishing a modern new stadium in and for St Helens, after so many glorious years at Knowsley Road.
“This exemplifies the club at the heart of our community, and serving the community. It is also a testament to the very considerable long-term investment which the board of directors of St Helens RFLC have made into their club and its infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, Derby Arena is set to be upgraded to mass vaccination status from January 25. The facility has been operating as a vaccination site for Derbyshire since January 7, but has not yet been scaled up to its full potential.
Local health chiefs told the Derby Telegraph newspaper that from Monday, Derby Arena will become a mass vaccination centre and will be “motoring through really significant numbers” of COVID-19 jabs per day.
The homes of League One football clubs Oxford United and Plymouth Argyle are also reportedly set to be drafted into the effort. The Oxford Mail said Kassam Stadium will be used as a mass vaccination centre from next month.
ITV News said a new vaccination centre is expected to open at Argyle’s Home Park stadium in the coming days. The club said it is “working on a project” with the NHS and will release details “in due course”.