Here’s what’s behind the phone alert you received about the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at IMS

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INDIANAPOLIS – An emergency alert had many Hoosiers checking their phones Tuesday morning—and it was all about a vaccination clinic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The alert came around 10 a.m. Usually, most of us think of getting an emergency message for something like an Amber Alert.

Tuesday’s message, however, was a public safety alert:

Free COVID-19 vaccination site is open 9 am to 7 pm thru Thursday, April 29, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 4790 W. 16th St, Gate 2. Walk-ins welcome. Pfizer and Johnson + Johnson vaccines available. No proof of residency required. More information at ourshot.in.gov or call 211 (or 866-211-9966).

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana State Department of Health made the call to issue the alert, which was approved by FEMA.

A spokesman for Homeland Security said previous alerts were issued in and around the Gary mass vaccination site and were “very effective.”

The message didn’t go out statewide. It was limited to Marion County and its surrounding counties. From the Indiana State Department of Health:

The public alert was sent today to Marion County and its surrounding counties to help increase appointments in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway mass vaccination clinic, which is offering both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and has available appointments each day this week.  We sent a similar alert to Lake and surrounding counties last week and saw an increase in vaccination walk-ins at the FEMA mass vaccination site in Gary.

The ISDH said the alert was “just one tool” it’s using to promote awareness of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics—a statewide campaign that has also included radio ads, billboards, commercials and social media ads.

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