The Mets continue to make big waves this offseason — but this time it has nothing to do with baseball.
The team will allow Citi Field to serve as a COVID-19 vaccination hub that’s opening to all New Yorkers beginning the week of Jan. 25, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. The “24/7” vaccination site will look to jab as many as 7,000 people with the vaccine each day.
“It’s Amazin’ news, you might say,” de Blasio said in a Tuesday news conference. “This is going to be fantastic. This is going to help so many people to get vaccinated. The Mets organization has stepped up to the plate to help us out. …
“We even welcome Yankees fans,” the mayor joked.
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New Mets owner Steve Cohen also attended the news conference via video, per AMNewYork.
“We know the suffering that’s going on with COVID. Any way the organization could help support this effort, we were going to do it,” Cohen said. “We talked about being involved in our communities and I can’t think of any way that’s more important than what this hub is going to do.”
This news is likely to further ingratiate the new Mets owner to his fellow New Yorkers. Since taking the helm late last year, Cohen has made good on his pledge to improve the team. Just last week, for example, the Mets traded for superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco.
Like Mets fans, Cohen seems eager to get the 2021 season started, and the vaccination clinic at Citi Field could help give the season at least some sense of normalcy.
“The goal is to just get the vaccine in people’s arms,” Cohen said during the news conference, per AMNewYork, “so we can get this crisis over with and get back to living a normal life.”
Like most areas of the country, New York has already been vaccinating the most vulnerable populations, such as people 75 years and older and first responders. The list of eligible recipients expanded Tuesday to include grocery store workers, other public-facing employees and anyone 65 years and older, according to media reports.
This is not the first time the Mets organization has been involved in community efforts. Shea Stadium’s parking lot was the site of 9/11 donations drop-offs for those working at Ground Zero and in city firehouses. The Citi Field parking lot was also the site of Hurricane Sandy-related relief efforts in 2012.