Hoosiers get green flag for vaccines at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

There might be no more fitting way to vaccinate a large Indiana crowd.

For three days starting Friday, the state will operate a drive-through vaccination clinic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where eligible Hoosiers will be able to get a shot without leaving their car.

Officials said Wednesday they expect to vaccinate close to 4,200 people a day who have pre-registered and met the eligibility requirements of being age 50 and older or having high-risk health issues, such as cancer or recent organ transplant.

Eligible people arriving for a vaccine can enter the Speedway through the main gate off 16th Street and go through the registration process. Then they can pull into one of the garages in gasoline alley for their shot.

Afterward, they will be directed to pull out near pit row for 15 minutes of observation, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer for the Indiana Department of Health, said during Gov. Eric Holcomb’s weekly press briefing.

“You will stay in your car the entire time so it’s really a drive-through, mass-vax location,” she said.

Holcomb, a motorsports fan, could not resist throwing in a few metaphors.

“I’m envisioning you’re going to get the green flag when you pull in,” he said. “And you’re going to hit caution maybe during (the vaccination). And then get the checkered (flag) on the way out.”

Holcomb, 54, said he will get his own vaccination on Friday morning, after qualifying this week by age.

“I’m not cutting in line,” he said. “I want to be a good example.”

The mass vaccination at the Speedway will take place from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The state will also offer mass vaccinations at Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg on March 12-13 and at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend on March 26-27. It plans to offer another mass vaccination site at a yet-to-be-determined site in Gary as well.

The mass vaccination sites are possible because the state has received a large increase in doses. Just a few weeks ago, Indiana got only 80,000 doses a week. But Weaver said the state this week received about 327,000 doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

She cautioned however, that Indiana will not receive additional Johnson & Johnson vaccines for another three weeks. She did not give a reason.

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