IMS, IU Health team up for second mass COVID-19 vaccine clinic at legendary raceway

Coronavirus Watch

SPEEDWAY, IND. — IU Health hosts a mass vaccine clinic at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that starts Thursday. 

They are aiming at doing around 6,000 single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines a day with at least 18,000 doses allocated for the first three days of the clinic. Those days are all booked, but as of Thursday morning, there are still appointments available later in the 16-day clinic.

“I know that we’re all concerned about those variants and so it’s kind of in a race – just like with IMS. It’s a race to get to that finish line with as many people vaccinated before we see these new types of COVID variants start entering the state,” said IU Health Special Pathogen’s Program Manager & COVID Vaccine Clinic Co-Lead Mary Kay Foster. 

IMS President Doug Boles agrees that the hope is to get as many Hoosiers vaccinated as possible. He says it’s needed in order to have a safe month of May for the upcoming Indy 500.

“We want as many people to come to the Indianapolis 500 that want to come to the Indianapolis 500,” said Boles. “We got to make sure that we’re going to to do it in a healthy way, we got to make sure our community is ready for that.”

It’s the second time an event like this has been at the racetrack and this time, IU Health officials are at the wheel. The hospital is coordinating this event, instead of like last time when they served in a support role. 

They have about 20 vaccinators and 20 documenters or scribes scheduled to work the 16-day event. Their nurses, physicians, medical assistants and staff will be the ones giving the shots. And this is on top of their other duties. 

“Well, we’ll be doing vaccinations basically over a 10-hour period – so we’re breaking that down into two five-hour shifts but also to make sure that we have enough people on site,” Foster said. 

“Most of these people volunteering have other jobs so they are doing this after they get off work or before they go into their other jobs.”  

Organizers hope to vaccinate nearly 100,00 Hoosiers during this latest mass vaccine clinic.

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