Mass vaccination site to open at Yankee Stadium for Bronxites
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that the mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium will begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible Bronx residents on Friday, February 5.
The site, established through a partnership between New York State, New York City, the New York Yankees, SOMOS Community Care and the New York National Guard, was developed to not only directly address the Bronx's concerning positivity rate - which is the highest among all New York City boroughs - but to also further the State's and City's mandate for fairness and social equity in the vaccine distribution process.
"It's abundantly clear that Black, Latino and poor communities have been hit the hardest by COVID, and the Bronx is no exception," Governor Cuomo said. "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."
"This mega site shows what our grassroots, equity-driven NYC Vaccine for All effort is all about," Mayor de Blasio said. "Yankee Stadium has always been known for its World Series banners, but now it'll be recognized 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 neighborhoods that were hardest hit by COVID-19."
The New York Yankees said, "The New York Yankees recognize the devastating effect COVID-19 has had on our borough, and it is our privilege to have Yankee Stadium as a host site for providing vaccines to Bronx residents. These vaccinations will make an immediate difference in improving the health of our local community — which has been so overwhelmed by this pandemic — and we extend our appreciation to all those involved with bringing this effort to fruition, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, the State of New York, Mayor Bill De Blasio, the City of New York and SOMOS Community Care. We will do whatever is needed to make this a success."
Dr. Ramon Tallaj, Chairman of SOMOS, a network of community doctors helping to lead vaccination efforts around New York, including the new facility at Yankee Stadium, said, "Yankee Stadium is the home of heroes here in New York - and it's a symbol of the Empire State's greatness around the world. Yankee Stadium means pride and optimism and stands for what makes New York special: community. And it is this sense of community that makes our collaboration with Governor Cuomo and the city of New York so vital to bringing the vacuna de esperanza - The vaccine of hope - into the neighborhood. As a network of family physicians and community doctors, we speak the same language, share the stories, and understand the culture of the people we serve and treat. Many of us are immigrants like our patients. We live in the same neighborhoods. We speak the language. We offer a national model for overcoming the mistrust and skepticism in the communities historically marginalized by traditional healthcare systems like large hospitals and pharmacy chains. But we need the local, state, and federal support to make it happen. Operating an iconic, familiar site to all New Yorkers located in the Bronx and alongside homegrown heroes like Mariano Rivera is a major step forward that can accommodate huge numbers - but we need to be sure we get the doses so that it reaches its full potential. In a great baseball movie, Field of Dreams, the script reads 'if you build it, they will come.' I am optimistic that will be the case for communities of color and vaccination at Yankee Stadium -- and we at SOMOS are ready to get the doses in arms our city needs to get back to work, reopen schools and small businesses, and recover from this pandemic. To our New Yorkers from the Bronx waiting to be vaccinated, hope is here."
Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York, said, "The Soldiers and Airmen of the New York National Guard are happy to be part of this effort to provide vaccinations for residents of the Bronx. The New York National Guard has been part of the state's COVID-19 response since March 2020 and we currently have more than 2,500 men and women on duty across the state working to control the pandemic."
Beginning Friday, February 5, the Yankee Stadium site will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Vaccinations are by appointment only and are reserved for Bronx residents who meet New York's 1a and 1b vaccine eligibility requirements only. Eligible Bronx residents can make their appointment by visiting Somosvaccinations.com or by calling 1-833-SomosNY.
Individuals who schedule appointments for Yankee Stadium are also required to bring proof of residency with them to the appointment. To prove Bronx residency, an individual must show, one of the following: State or government-issued ID; Statement from landlord; Current rent receipt or lease; Mortgage records.
They can also show two of the following: Statement from another person; Current mail and School records.
Along with the fact that the Bronx has continued to have the highest COVID-19 positivity rate of any New York City borough for the past several weeks, the establishment of the Yankee Stadium site will also play a key role in furthering Governor Cuomo's mandate to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. In late 2020, the Governor announced the launch of New York's Vaccine Equity Task Force. Since its establishment, it has worked to ensure vulnerable and underserved communities are not left behind by breaking down the barriers to vaccination and ensuring there is equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state.
Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo and the Task Force, New York has worked to break down barriers to vaccine access through the deployment of community vaccination kits and the establishment of 'pop up' community-based vaccination sites in churches, community centers and public housing complexes. As part of this effort, New York will continue to deploy these kits until pop-up sites have been established at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments which house more than 7,600 seniors. Pop-up locations will also continue to be established at other public housing complexes statewide, as well as at more than 300 churches and cultural centers which have volunteered to house these sites through the Vaccine Equity Task Force. Since January 15, nearly 9,000 New Yorkers have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose at these community-based pop up sites. As has been the case with previous pop-up sites, these sites will be re-established in three weeks to administer second doses.