FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (WHDH) - After giving Gov. Charlie Baker a tour of Massachusetts’ first mass vaccination site inside Gillette Stadium on Thursday, New England Patriots owners Robert Kraft said that he is “very proud” to be assisting the state in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The site at Gillette began administering vaccines on Monday, becoming the first professional sports venue in the Northeast to begin doing so. Nearly 2,000 doses have been administered since then.
“The fact that we have a space that can be utilized to try to help serve a public need is very rewarding to us,” Kraft said during a news conference at the stadium.
Kraft spoke about the vaccination effort on a day that marked the 27th anniversary of his purchasing the Patriots.
“While the Patriots and Revolution have proven to be assets to the community, so is this building in which they play in,” Kraft said. “We have celebrated some great moments over the past 19 years but maybe none as important as what we’re doing here today.”
Kraft said staff at Gillette have already gone from administering 300 vaccinations a day to 1,500 vaccinations a day. Baker noted that Gillette will eventually have the capacity to administer up to 5,000 vaccines a day.
“We expect to continue to expand the scope of the vaccinations in the days and weeks ahead,” Kraft added. “We look forward to working with the state as they expand the next two phases to extend vaccination invitations to residents throughout the whole Commonwealth.”
Kraft also said that he hopes the vaccine will serve as a path to getting fans back into the stadium for live football and soccer next season.
“As much as we love hosting these vaccinations, what we’re looking for the most is to return to normal and to host our Patriot and Revolution fans in-person this coming season,” Kraft said.
When the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, Kraft sent the team plane to China to pick up more than one million N95 masks for states that were dealing with shortages.
Kraft also facilitated the establishment of a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at the stadium for first responders.
The stadium has also hosted COVID-related food and blood drives.
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