The Seattle Mariners hope to have better luck vaccinating their fans from COVID-19 than they’ve had with their own players.
The Mariners announced that, starting Tuesday, eligible fans attending home games at T-Mobile Park can also get free COVID-19 vaccine shots with no appointment at three locations around the ballpark. They are the first MLB team to offer this service. In the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks have offered vaccination shots at their games.
Fans get their choice of a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the first dose of a Moderna vaccine. Those going with Moderna also will be able to schedule their second dose at one of the City of Seattle's community vaccination sites — Lumen Field Event Center, Rainier Beach and West Seattle.
The Mariners roster itself is lagging amid league-wide efforts to get players vaccinated, as Ryan Divish reports in the Seattle Times:
"The Mariners had voluntary vaccinations for players and staff a few weeks ago following a game at T-Mobile Park. MLB sources indicated that less than half of the players on the active 26-man roster took advantage of the opportunity to receive their first vaccination shot.
"A month ago, MLB issued a memo to all teams, notifying them that if 85 percent of the people in Tier 1 — players, coaches, support staff — were fully vaccinated, some of the stringent COVID-19 protocols could be relaxed."
Mariners manager Scott Servais said the team still had "some work to do" to reach 85 percent, and sources tell Divish it's not happening anytime soon.
The carrot of relaxing COVID protocols wasn't only for the benefit of the players, but also for the entire community. Players showing enough bravery and selflessness to get shots could inspire those in the community on the fence about vaccines to get theirs too. The more people who get vaccinated, the safer all of us will be. And the sooner the better.
So, for those M's players who still haven't committed, EMS workers from the Seattle Fire Department will begin administering shots from the time gates open at T-Mobile, which is typically two hours before the first pitch. For the first game, that's Tuesday at 5:10 p.m. PDT.
Here’s where you go:
Plenty of time to get your shot amid hitting deep shots over the fence during batting practice. (Or shagging fly balls, if you’re a pitcher.)