MLB Stadiums Pass 1 Million COVID Vaccinations, Many Will Continue Distributing Doses After Opening Day

Eleven ballparks across the country were converted into mass COVID-19 vaccination centers during the offseason

Citi Field Baseball Stadium
Citi Field. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

MLB stadiums across the country will continue to play a role in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As Opening Day approaches, it has been announced that a number of ballparks that were converted into mass vaccination centers during the offseason will continue to remain open to the public.

New York's Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are among the stadiums that will continue providing doses, according to the Associated Press, as are Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Miami's Marlins Park.

The Colorado Rockies are also looking into whether operations can continue at Coors Field, the outlet reported.

Additionally, officials in California hope to be able to keep the vaccination center at Oakland Coliseum open through longer than mid-April, according to NBC Bay Area.

As of now, the vaccination site, held in the stadium's parking lot, is only offering appointments for people receiving their second shot of the Pfizer vaccine, according to The Oaklandside. Starting April 5, the site will switch over to the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine — and hopefully will continue to provide about 6,000 shots per day.

Although the Northern California team is allowing a limited number of fans at home games starting April 1, officials do not believe their presence will impact operations, according to NBC Bay Area.

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Gabe Kapler
Oakland Coliseum. JOHN G MABANGLO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

In order to make room for fans, the New York Mets, who play in Citi Field, moved their vaccination site earlier this month.

The center was moved from the Jackie Robinson Rotunda to McFadden's sports bar and restaurant, which does not provide access to the facility, ABC7 reported. The outlet also noted that a similar adjustment was expected to take place at Yankee Stadium ahead of the team's April 1 opener.

The MLB announced on Friday that the 11 vaccination sites that were opened in the offseason have provided over 1 million COVID-19 shots to date.

"Major League Baseball, our clubs and Major League players have worked hand in hand with communities across the U.S. and Canada during the pandemic," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "I commend the clubs that have hosted vaccination and testing at their ballparks and all of our franchises for promoting health and safety in our communities. Most importantly, MLB is grateful to the countless heroes who are lifting up our society and helping us reach the better days ahead."

Additionally, the league has helped distribute and analyze over 20,000 free COVID-19 PCR tests for schools and charities in a number of major U.S. cities.

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This month, the MLB also joined a number of celebrities and stars to launch COVID-19 vaccine education initiative "It's Up To You."

"We are proud to join the other sports leagues in sending an important health and safety message to our fans," Barbara McHugh, MLB's senior vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "Baseball has a unique ability to bring people together at the ballpark, creating communal experiences and memorable moments. Our fans are integral in creating that magic. We're hopeful this campaign resonates with millions of people and inspires them to take action in our common desire of returning to normalcy. We're looking forward to once again hearing the roar of the crowd at our ballparks."

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