The Indy 500 won’t take place until May 30, but the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is opening for a special reason. The huge venue will serve as the venue for mass COVID-19 vaccinations. The move coincides with the opening of the vaccine by the state of Indiana to people 16 and older.
According to Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, IMS officials and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb “believe” 96,000 people can get through and get their vaccinations in 16 days. The Indiana Department of Health will seek to achieve this goal through the administration of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. The trip takes place from April 1st to 3rd, April 13th to 18th and April 24th to 30th from 9am to 7pm.
It’s our shot, Hoosiers! Let’s beat # COVID19 as an Indiana team!
Get your vaccine in the racing capital of the world! We have teamed up with @StateHealthIN and @IU_Health for another vaccination campaign.
Detailed information: https://t.co/JzE1x66Cd5 pic.twitter.com/xhvJ14frda
– Indianapolis Motor Speedway (@IMS) March 24, 2021
“As we get closer and closer to Indy 500 Race Day, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is excited to once again stand arm in arm with the State of Indiana and IU Health, encouraging Hoosiers to come to this iconic facility for a COVID-19 vaccination “said J. Douglas Boles, IMS President. “As Indiana opens availability to an even larger age group, we know that racing fans and Hoosiers will take the opportunity to drive through the IMS tunnel to get the vaccine and set our health trends in the right direction. We are governor Holcomb and continued grateful to Dr. Box for your guidance and the opportunity that IMS is part of this important effort.
Holcomb announced changes to the existing mask guidelines on Tuesday evening. He will turn the mask mandate into an expert opinion from April 6th. However, face coverings remain mandatory in all government buildings and facilities. In addition, face coverings are mandatory at vaccination and coronavirus test centers until further notice. The K-12 schools maintain the current requirements for the remainder of the school year.
Roger Penske, owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, met with the media on Monday and gave an outlook on fan participation in the Indy 500. He hesitated to give a “final” number but was optimistic about a six-digit crowd Area. Penske said the target is 250,000 people while IMS would also serve as a site for a mass vaccination campaign.
“It’s way down and I think so [the crowd] will hopefully be a large number, “said Penske.” That is our hope, but what we have done in the meantime, we have vaccinated. We got 16,000 in three days and are preparing for a mass vaccination in April. “