Opening Day remains two months away, but the New York Yankees are going to bat for the Bronx this weekend, as Yankee Stadium will open its doors as a COVID-19 vaccine hub, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
The site at 1 E. 161st Street will operate strictly for qualified Bronx residents on an appointment only basis from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week; 15,000 appointments will be available for the hub’s first week, according to Cuomo’s office.
“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,” the Yankees organization released in a statement.
“These vaccinations will make an immediate difference in improving the health of our local community — which has been so overwhelmed by this pandemic,” the bombers added.
The governor’s office stated that Yankee Stadium was selected to “directly address the Bronx’s concerning positivity rate,” the highest of all five boroughs. It also looks to close the vaccine inequality gap that has developed citywide.
“It’s abundantly clear that Black, Latino and poor communities have been hit the hardest by COVID, and the Bronx is no exception,” 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,” he added.
De Blasio reiterated a similar message to the governor, saying, “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,” adding that the site is about “justice” to the communities hardest hit by the virus.
Those Bronx residents who are eligible for vaccination can schedule appointments by visiting Somosvaccinations.com or by calling 1-833-SOMOS-NY.
Proof of Bronx residency is also required and must be brought to an appointment by way brining one of the following: state or government-issued ID, statement from landlord, current rent receipt or lease, or mortgage records.
Residents can also bring two of the following: statement from another person, current mail, and school records.