Mercedes-Benz Stadium to become mass vaccination site, giving 6,000 shots a day

ATLANTA — More Georgians will soon be able to get the COVID-19 vaccination at a new FEMA mass vaccination site in Atlanta.

Top White House health officials made the announcement Friday morning at a news conference.

The new site will be at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Health officials said it will have the capacity to administer 6,000 shots a day, or 42,000 shots a week.

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The site will operate seven days a week for an eight-week period.

The moves comes just a month after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to the White House letting the Biden administration know that their stadiums would be ready to assist in a federal rollout.

“To me it’s another feather in Fulton County’s cap. I mean even Washington, D.C., is taking notice of the good work that we’re doing here,” said Fulton County Commission Chair Rob Pitts.

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Pitts told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr that he’s not surprised the model they used is being implemented by the federal government.

He also noted they used a CDC social vulnerability index to choose the site.

“Earlier this week, representatives from the CDC came over and toured our operation, learned some lessons and are using it as a sort of prototype across the country,” Pitts said.

Last month, Carr spoke with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms who expressed equity concerns during a White House visit and requested a state mandate for more specific local data about who was getting vaccinated at the time.

“Although there have been 1.3 million vaccines distributed in Fulton County, I don’t know if that’s on the West Side of Atlanta or if that’s in Alpharetta. I don’t know,” Bottoms said.

Bottoms and Gov. Brian Kemp applauded the announcement, saying this as a step in the right direction.

The mayor said the community vaccination center will help further expand access for the most vulnerable.

This comes just a few days after Kemp announced that the state would be expanding their own mass vaccination sites from four to nine across the state. The five new sites will open on March 17.

The five new locations are: LakePoint Sports Complex in Bartow County, Columbus Civic Center in Muscogee County, Word of Life Church in Washington County, Gulfstream Aerospace in Chatham County and the Mall at Waycross Shopping Center in Ware County.

So far, Georgia has administered 2,286,514 COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to the state’s dashboard.

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