As the Sounders shot at Lumen Field, fans got their COVID-19 shots at the first vaccination clinic held at a professional sporting event in Seattle.
“We haven’t done anything like this before,” Matthew Smith, a lieutenant with the Seattle Fire Department, said.
Smith was one of multiple first responders helping run the clinic, which included two locations inside Lumen Field: One in the West Field Plaza by Section 140, and the second in the East Main Concourse by Section 104. No appointments were necessary, as fans were able to walk up to the clinic and get vaccinated.
“Well, we’re here,” said Will Thompson, a Sounders fan who was administered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine during halftime of the Sounders-Galaxy match. “And it saves us from getting an appointment later on.”
“There’s no line!” said Carol Butts, a Sounders fan who was also administered a vaccine during halftime. “You just walk up and get the shot.”
Teaming up with the city of Seattle and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, the clinic offered first doses of either the Moderna vaccine or Johnson & Johnson vaccine (fans were allowed to choose between the two).
Anyone who opted for the Moderna vaccine was also able to schedule their second dose appointment, which was scheduled at any of the vaccination clinics being held by the city of Seattle.
The clinic is only available to people 18 years or older.
After the vaccine is administered, fans are asked to wait for a few minutes but are not required to stay for the usual 15-30 minutes following a dose.
“Because we have staffing throughout the stadium with EMTs and paramedics available, folks here are allowed to go back to their seats and can be observed at their seats. Should they have an issue, they can notify the nearest usher, who then would dispatch us to help them,” Smith said.
While the Sounders are the first professional sports organization to hold a vaccination clinic during a home game, they won’t be the last. The Mariners are also planning to hold vaccination clinics during home games this week, according to organizers at the Lumen Field clinic.
“We want to get back to normal as soon as possible, with a full stadium singing, cheering and celebrating with the team in person,” Sounders FC Owner and President of Business Operations Peter Tomozawa stated in a media release. “But that can only happen if we’re all willing to do own individual parts – which includes getting vaccinated and continuing to mask up and follow health protocols.”