Yankee Stadium in New York is among the latest sports venues to be offered up for use as a vaccination centre in the fight against COVID-19.

The Bronx stadium, which serves as the home of Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, will open as a mass vaccination site tomorrow (Friday). With the COVID-19 positivity rate in the Bronx currently the highest among all New York City boroughs, the site will be reserved for Bronx residents by appointment only.

Up to 15,000 appointments will be available during the first week of the site opening. The development of the site is being made possible through a partnership with the Yankees, SOMOS Community Care and the New York National Guard.

The site will be open from 8am to 8pm and will operate seven days a week. Vaccinations will be reserved for Bronx residents who meet New York’s 1a and 1b vaccine eligibility requirements.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “It’s abundantly clear that black, Latino and poor communities have been hit the hardest by COVID, and the Bronx is no exception. Our efforts to target vaccinations by locations with higher positivity rates have been working to not only keep the infection rate down, but to help ensure equity in our vaccine distribution process, and opening a mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium – the Bronx’s most iconic landmark –  is the perfect solution to helping this borough get vaccinated and defeat COVID once and for all.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio added: “This mega site shows what our grassroots, equity-driven NYC Vaccine for All effort is all about. Yankee Stadium has always been known for its World Series banners, but now it’ll be recognised as a place where the people of the surrounding community in the Bronx can receive the vaccine doses that they need and deserve. This is about justice and standing up for the neighbourhoods that were hardest hit by COVID-19.”

In England, 39 new vaccination centres have been confirmed today, with Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park and Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium among the sites that had already been announced. Among the newly-announced sports venues on the list is The Stoop, home of Premiership rugby union club Harlequins.

Meanwhile in Argentina, River Plate has joined the vaccination effort by opening up its Microestadio arena for locals. The venue will serve as one of 41 vaccination sites across Buenos Aires and will be open from 9am to 5pm every day.

In the Netherlands, Koning Willem II Stadion, home of Eredivisie football club Willem II, will open as a vaccination site from next Tuesday, February 9. It is hoped that up to 18 people per hour will be vaccinated at the site, with healthcare workers and over-85s to be prioritised.

Image: Matt Hecht