INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the home of a mass vaccination clinic starting this weekend.
The event, hosted by the Indiana Department of Health, will distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
People coming to the speedway for vaccination will enter through the main gate on 16th Street and remain in their cars the entire time.
The long-term goal to get hundreds of thousands of race fans to walk through the turnstiles once again and watch the green flag drop will only be possible when a majority of Hoosiers have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
That’s why the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host a vaccination clinic starting Friday.
“We absolutely want to have customers in the grandstands, the most we can have, and getting people vaccinated and getting the numbers to go down is going to help get us there,” said IMS president Doug Boles.
Boles explains that for three days, Friday through Sunday, anyone who makes an appointment can drive into the F-1 garage area behind pit lane to get a free COVID-19 vaccine.
“They’ll actually get to drive through one of the F-1 garages where they’ll stop and get the vaccine administered and drive out into a waiting area in the Indy car transporter lot for 15 minutes to make sure everything is okay and then back out the main tunnel. So no track lap!” said Boles.
“These mass vaccinations sites will allow us to vaccinate thousands of people over a few days,” said Dr. Brian Dixon with the Regenstrief Institute.
Dr. Dixon claims while normal vaccination sites are capable of giving doses to maybe a hundred people a day, mass vaccinations clinics will allow close to one percent of the state’s population to receive the newly approved Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.
In addition to IMS, two other mass vaccination clinics are planned this month at Notre Dame and Ivy Tech in Sellersburg.
“It will allow us to go through the first shipment of Johnson& Johnson vaccines very quickly, so within the span of 3 weeks we’ll be able to vaccine 50,000 people,” said Dixon.
The mass vaccination clinics will require advance registration. No walk ups will be allowed.
In a statement provided by ISDH, Governor Eric J. Holcomb said, “We are incredibly grateful to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Notre Dame and Ivy Tech for their willingness to meet this challenge head-on to help save Hoosier lives.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA on Saturday. It has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths in clinical trials involving nearly 44,000 participants from all races and ethnicities.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine gives eligible Hoosiers a safe, effective and convenient way to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said State Health Commissioner Kristina Box. “Because it requires just one dose, every shot administered represents a Hoosier who can rest easier, knowing their risk of severe illness from this disease has dropped exponentially.”
The clinics will follow the following schedules:
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Friday, March 5 – Sunday, March 7
- 4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis
- Participants are asked to enter through main gate off 16th Street and remain in their cars for the shots.
Ivy Tech Community College
- 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Friday, March 12 – Saturday, March 13
- 8204 County Road 311, Sellersburg
- Participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.
University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena
- 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Friday, March 26 – Saturday, March 27
- 100 Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame
- All of the clinics will require advance registration by scheduling through https://ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211.
The announcement comes on the same day the state department opened vaccines to Hoosiers 55 years of age and older.