NFL commissioner offers Joe Biden all football stadiums as Covid vaccination sites

Vaccination sites have already been set up at NFL stadiums in seven locations

Danielle Zoellner
New York
@dani__zoellner
Friday 05 February 2021 22:01
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US 'on track' to meeting Joe Biden's goal of 100 million vaccines administered in 100 days

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The National Football League (NFL) has lent its support to the United States' mass vaccination effort by offering President Joe Biden use of all of its stadiums as Covid-19 vaccine sites.

The offer was revealed in a letter obtained by the Associated Press.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told the president in the letter dated on Thursday that many of these stadiums would be able to quickly transition to a vaccination site because they previously offered their spaces as coronavirus testing and election locations.

Vaccination sites have already been set up at NFL stadiums in seven locations: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Houston, Miami, and New England.

Mr Biden has revealed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was looking to open at least 100 vaccination sites across the country, some of which would require utilising available spaces like a football stadium. This was all in an effort to get the American public vaccinated swiftly at a time when Covid-19 variants are spreading through the country.

"We look forward to further discussion with your administration as well as your partners in state and local governments to advance this effort,” Mr Goodell wrote the president.

The offer was in conjunction with the NFL inviting 7,500 healthcare and frontline workers to the Super Bowl, which will take place on Sunday in Tampa, Florida.

At the start of his administration, Mr Biden made the pledge to administer at least 100 million vaccine doses within the first 100 days in office.

The country was currently averaging about 1.3 million vaccine doses per day, but health officials have indicated this could be ramped up to 1.5 million or 2 million per day.

Opening up more vaccination sites was one way the Biden administration intended to increase vaccine administration. But additional manpower and supplies would also be needed at these new sites.

Earlier on Friday, it was revealed that the Pentagon approved sending FEMA 1,000 active duty troops to assist with Covid-19 vaccine efforts.

In total, FEMA has requested 10,000 active duty troops to help with the new vaccination sites. But that request was still under discussion with the Defence Department.

The federal government has distributed more than 57 million vaccine doses to states and 35.2 million of those doses have been administered as of 4 February, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracker.

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