By The Associated Press

The domed home of the Detroit Lions today welcomed educators and school staff from southeast Michigan, including Livingston County, for a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Although Ford Field can accommodate tens of thousands of fans on NFL Sunday, it hosted considerably fewer during the event, albeit with much higher stakes.

Retailer Meijer and the Michigan Education Special Services Association worked together to identify and schedule 2,600 educational employees still needing the vaccine. The Ford Field event was pre-registration only and at capacity.

Dana Berry, a retired teacher from Hartland Township, who still tutors students, said her frequent trips to Meijer paid off.

“I saw that you could sign up there. And then I was able to get an appointment, which you feel like you won the lottery if you get one,” the 58-year-old Berry said after having the Moderna vaccine injected into her arm.

Kevin Woodard said it only took him about a half-hour to get the vaccine, something the 44-year-old substitute teacher from Walled Lake, said he was thrilled to finally do.

“After a year of being in quarantine and worrying about catching (the coronavirus) from walking into a restaurant or walking down the street or meeting a random stranger in a random place, it’s nice to finally have the vaccination,” Woodard said, standing outside the makeshift “pod” where he received his shot and that overlooks the stadium’s playing surface.

“Some of that fear is just naturally going to go away,” he said.

Berry, Woodard and their fellow educators will return to Ford Field for their second shot in a few weeks.

“The last time I was at Ford Field was to watch a Lions game. So, it’s a little bit different coming down for just medical procedures,” Woodard said.