HOUSTON (AP) — After wrapping up spring training in Florida on Monday, the Astros were returning to Houston to allow players and staff to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Astros had planned to fly directly from Florida to California on Monday after wrapping up their exhibition schedule with a game against the Nationals to prepare for Thursday’s season opener against the Athletics.

Instead they decided on Sunday night to make a stop in Houston after vaccines became available through their partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital.

Monday was the first day that anyone age 16 and older in Texas was eligible to receive the vaccine. The team did not provide details on which vaccine its players and staff would receive.

“We’re coming to Houston to get our shots today and then work out tomorrow and then go to Oakland on Tuesday night,” manager Dusty Baker said.

The 71-year-old Baker received both doses of the vaccine before arriving to spring training in February. The rest of Houston's players and staff will be able to get the vaccine on Monday, but it was unclear how many would take advantage of the opportunity.

“I’m hoping more than a few get it, which would increase our odds of not catching it during the season,” Baker said.


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