Mercedes-Benz Stadium to be used as major COVID-19 vaccination center 

The White House announced Friday that Mercedes-Benz Stadium will expand its intake of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Functioning as a vaccination center since January, the home of the Atlanta Falcons will soon begin administering vaccines to a wider range of residents in the state of Georgia.

"Today, we are announcing the addition of two new FEMA-supported high-volume sites," the White House's Friday press briefing stated. "The Atlanta Falcons Stadium in Georgia and the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio, will turn into FEMA-supported community vaccination sites with the capacity to deliver 6,000 shots per day each. Both of these sites sit in neighborhoods hit hard by the pandemic and are well known in the community."

The ongoing and expanded of the Falcons' home site continues the NFL's efforts of opening its teams' doors to aid in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have a total of 15 stadiums and facilities that have been serving as vaccination sites," a statement from the NFL read. "The Atlanta site has been up and running since early January. It will now have increased capacity thanks to today's initiative."

The Vikings are among the teams that have pledged to join the efforts aimed to combat the virus.

General manager Rick Spielman spoke with NFL Network's Tom Pelissero on Friday about his club's involvement.

"One of the top priorities we have is to go out there in the community and give back to the community," Spielman said. "And when Governor (Tim) Walz and this game-changing Johnson & Johnson vaccine came out, I know Minnesota had access to a lot of vaccines [and] it was a natural fit especially with our facilities here. ... We're gonna take care of all the healthcare workers, hopefully people over 65 years old will be able to get in here that need a shot but also the volunteers here, the National Guard, everybody that's pitching in that's trying to get this epidemic under control."

The Falcons and Vikings' latest contributions come after NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell wrote a letter to President Joe Biden in February prior to Super Bowl LV in which he illustrated a willingness and vision to use NFL stadiums as vaccination sites.

"The NFL and our 32 member clubs are committed to doing our part to ensure that vaccines are as widely accessible in our communities as possible," the letter read in part. "To that end, each NFL team will make its stadium available for mass vaccinations of the general public in coordination with local, state, and federal health officials."

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