Gillette Stadium to be used as COVID vaccination site

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com

COVID may have prevented New Englanders from heading to Gillette Stadium this past fall. However, it looks like it will give them a reason to go this spring.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Tuesday that the Foxborough home of the Patriots and Revolution will serve as the state's first mass vaccination site. Staff handling the vaccinations will receive the first doses, starting on Thursday. On Monday, they will open to first responders. Once the state's vaccination plan dictates, the facility will be opened to the general public.

Those who are eligible to receive a vaccine can make an appointment using the state's healthcare website. CIC Health will operate the site, in partnership with Brigham and Woman's Hospital.

The state's goal is to begin with a rate of 300 vaccinations a day, eventually increasing to 5,000 per day for the general public. Eventually, the stadium could see "potentially much bigger numbers than that over time," Baker said on Tuesday. A statement released on the stadium's Twitter page reads:

Gillette Stadium is accustomed to accommodating large audiences and we are honored to provide a safe location to expedite the vaccination of first responders, and to soon expand to residents throughout the Commonwealth. As we have done throughout the pandemic, Gillette Stadium and the entire Kraft Sports + Entertainment organization stand ready to assist Governor Baker and the Commonwealth in any way we can. We are proud to do our part and grateful to the incredible team of people whose championship-caliber efforts will save lives and defend against the spread of this virus.

According to the latest Massachusetts vaccination report from January 7, the state has administered 141,108 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and currently has about 200,000 more ready to go. A new, updated report is expected on Thursday.

Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub's complete coverage of the Patriots.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].