SPEEDWAY, Ind. — One of the state’s largest COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics is putting an emphasis on families Friday. State health officials have designated the day as Family Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said on top of Friday’s 2,300 vaccinations, Marion County Schools brought 500 students to get vaccinated.
“We’re excited that these kids are out here today to protect themselves but also their families,” she said. Dr. Weaver added that she hopes that these students will become vaccine ambassadors to the Indianapolis area schools.
She said ISDH will be back in May with the second dose of Moderna for the thousands that have already had their first. Dr. Weaver added that the health department is grateful to IMS for the continuing partnership during the busy month of May.
While it’s true appointments are going down in numbers, the state will continue to offer mass vaccination sites but will look to wind down mass vaccinations in the next month or so, said Dr. Weaver.
She believes many Hoosiers are looking to go to their primary care physicians to get the vaccine. Dr. Weaver concluded by stating that it’s very important to get vaccines to 16, 17, and 18-year olds.
Social distancing and hand washing continue to be effective against the coronavirus, but said, “the best tool we all have is to get vaccinated. Go ahead and take that initiative.”
The Pfizer vaccine will be administered at the track on Family Day. That vaccine is the only one currently approved for 16 and 17-year-olds.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also be available. The single dose shot is back in use after federal regulators recommended a pause as it investigated reports of blood clots among a small group of people who received the vaccine. The J&J vaccine is only available to those 18 and up.
You must have an appointment to participate. As of 5:30 a.m. Friday morning, there are still appointments available between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Local health officials say with the new variants, they are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases among young people.
The worry is those younger Hoosiers could then pass the virus to someone more vulnerable.
“Even if they would get over a COVID infection pretty easily, we’re concerned about other individuals, other members of the family that they might bring the infection back home to,” explained Claire Haughton, health educator and public information officer with the Boone County Health Department.
As for anyone who already received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine at IMS, we now know they will receive their second dose in the Speedway’s parking lot across from Gate 2.
Those appointments should be between May 11 and 16.
There are additional clinics planned for the Speedway for next month.