Feb. 9, 2021 By Christina Santucci
The Citi Field megasite is set to open Wednesday, but only 800 shots are expected to be dispensed at the stadium this week.
Mayor Bill de Blasio had announced last month Citi Field would scale up to vaccinating between 5,000 and 7,000 people per day. But currently there are only 800 doses available for the location for the first week — about 200 vaccines per day from Wednesday through Saturday, according to multiple reports.
“I want to see more vaccines shifted, of course, to the Citi Field site, and that will happen in the days ahead,” de Blasio said during a news conference Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the vaccination site at Yankee stadium in the Bronx, which was developed in partnership with the state, has an estimated four times as many vaccines as its counterpart in Queens, according to reports.
De Blasio said the city is dealing with state and federal red-tape, and has had to make choices about its distribution. “We are being starved of supply. We could be doing three times as many vaccinations per week right now,” de Blasio said.
He said the city plans to ramp up to round-the-clock, daily distribution at the Queens stadium. “The goal over the next few weeks is to get it to 24/7,” de Blasio said.
Half of the appointments at Citi Field are being set aside for the taxi drivers and restaurant/delivery workers, and the rest are designated for eligible borough residents.
The Citi Field location had been scheduled to open the week of Jan. 25 but was delayed because of supply issues.
Queens politicians called out the mayor for the delays in a letter Sunday–since an opening date had yet to be determined and Yankee stadium was operating. On Monday, the mayor announced that vaccinations would begin at the Queens stadium Wednesday.
Timed with the site’s opening, the Long Island Rail Road also announced plans Tuesday to help Queens residents get to Citi Field.
The LIRR is adding a stop on one of its lines to drop off riders able to score COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the Queens stadium starting tomorrow. All trains on the Port Washington branch will stop at the Mets – Willets Point station around the clock as long as the vaccination site is open.
Queens residents able to get an appointment at Citi Field can ride the Port Washington branch from Little Neck, Douglaston, Bayside, Auburndale, Broadway, Murray Hill, Flushing – Main Street and Woodside. Those with vaccine appointments can also travel to Citi Field directly from Penn Station or by transferring at the Woodside station.
Trains on the Port Washington line operate approximately every 30 minutes during the day, and less frequently at night.
The 7 train also stops at Citi Field, but subway service is currently suspended nightly from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. In addition, the site is accessible by private vehicles, and the Q48 bus goes directly to the stadium.
Those eligible can make an appointment for the vaccine online or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC.