The Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium and the Houston Texans’ NRG Stadium will become the latest NFL venues to open as COVID-19 vaccination centres.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced yesterday (Wednesday) that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would be establishing mass community vaccination sites at the two venues, with a third to be set up at the Fair Park recreational complex in Dallas.
The sites will be operated by FEMA in partnership with the state of Texas through the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and local officials. The sites will be the largest vaccination centres in Texas.
Work is now underway to build the vaccination sites, which are expected to open for eligible members of the public from February 24. Registration details for appointments will be announced in the coming days.
Governor Abbott said: “These mass community sites will allow us to expand access to COVID-19 vaccinations in underserved communities and help us mitigate the spread of the virus. Thank you to our partners at FEMA for working with the State of Texas to establish these vaccination sites and help us protect our most vulnerable.”
The announcement comes after the NFL last week offered the use of its 30 stadiums as vaccination centres. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the proposal in a letter to President Joe Biden, who said he would “absolutely” take the league up on the offer.
With the NFL season now concluded, stadiums will be well placed to open as vaccination sites and Goodell pointed to the fact that a number of venues have already been used as COVID-19 testing facilities throughout the pandemic.
Eight NFL teams are already using their stadiums as vaccination centres: the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers opened up their Levi’s Stadium site earlier this week and the centre will have the initial capacity to vaccinate 5,000 people per day, with plans to increase this to 15,000 as vaccine supplies increase.
President Biden has set a goal of vaccinating 100 million people in the first 100 days of his administration.