For decades now, the Steelers and Giant Eagle have been partners on the kinds of things that have allowed people to enjoy football weekends in the fall. This year, that partnership is expanding into an area of far more significance.

Starting next week, Giant Eagle Pharmacies will team up with the Steelers to utilize Heinz Field with the idea of getting the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of as many people as possible.

“The Steelers have had a long relationship, a long partnership, with Giant Eagle going back decades now,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II, “and so when Giant Eagle Pharmacy wanted to set up a vaccination site at Heinz Field we thought it was a great idea. A great opportunity to really help them serve the community, and so we’re excited it’s going to happen.”

The vaccination effort at Heinz Field is going to start on Tuesday, March 2, and it will run the duration of that week, and Rooney said there is an expectation there will be additional days through the whole month of March.

“They need a large venue,” said Rooney. “They’re going to try to vaccinate thousands of people over the course of a week, and so they need a large venue to accomplish that. Obviously, ample parking is available (around Heinz Field) at this time of the year, so it really is a perfect fit for Heinz Field and Giant Eagle at this point.”

Parking will be available in Gold Lot 1, and the actual vaccinations will be administered in the PNC Champions Club. Vaccinations will be by appointment only, and those eligible will be able to schedule an appointment by visiting GiantEagle.com.

“We’re going through unusual times, to say the least,” said Rooney, “and so being able to help with probably the most important thing we’re doing right now in this community, which is trying to get everybody vaccinated, trying to get everybody that kind of protection, I really can’t think of anything more important that we could be doing right now than to partner with Giant Eagle to do this.”

The vaccine being distributed at Heinz Field will be the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine, and the shots will be administered by Giant Eagle pharmacists. Since the Pfizer vaccine requires two separate injections administered 21 days apart, there will be a follow-up appointment made to get the second injection.

As for the length of time Heinz Field is to be utilized as a vaccination site and how many people might be served there, Rooney said, “It all depends on the supply (of the vaccine) to Giant Eagle. I think it’s going to go on for weeks. That’s what they have in mind here, but all we’ve been told so far is next week Heinz Field will be scheduled for the whole week and then we expect there will be additional weeks, but we don’t have those specifics yet.”