FOXBORO (CBS) -- The Kraft family is once again putting the Patriots team plane to good use amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Boeing 767 jet that's decked out in New England team colors will take 76 vaccinated health care workers from the region to Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida.
The plane will take off from Logan Airport Sunday morning and fly back home after the game. All health care "superheroes" on board will have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks.
Last year, team owner Robert Kraft sent the plane to China to pick up 1.2 million respirator masks.
"Last April, when our plane returned with masks from China, we never could have imagined the devastation this pandemic would cause, nor could we have dreamed of the heroic stories and achievements that have come to be as a result, especially the dedication of healthcare workers on the front lines and the creation of safe and effective vaccines," Kraft said in a statement. "Ten months later, it's an honor for us to celebrate these healthcare workers by giving them a well-deserved break for a day and an opportunity to enjoy the Super Bowl, a reality that is only made possible because of the vaccines."
The chosen health care employees come from all six New England states and work in a variety of roles related to coronavirus treatment. The Krafts gave four tickets to each governor outside of Massachusetts to select their own state's health care workers, and the rest went to non-profit hospitals in Massachusetts that care for coronavirus patients.
Kraft will greet the workers when they arrive in Tampa. They are scheduled to attend the NFL TikTok Tailgate concert, and then the Super Bowl.
The Krafts said they also want to stress the importance of being vaccinated. Gillette Stadium is currently serving as one of five mass vaccination sites in the state.
There will be about 22,000 fans at the Super Bowl, including roughly 7,500 health care workers invited by the NFL.
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