The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Centers for Disease Control will open a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site for six days starting Saturday at the Dover International Speedway.
The state hopes to give out as many as 18,000 vaccines during that time. It will only be open to people vaccinated in previous state-sponsored vaccinations, mostly for healthcare workers and those ages 65 and older.
Appointments will be available starting Wednesday.
A press release said that the Centers for Disease Control, Delaware Department of Health and Human Services, Delaware Emergency Management Agency and Delaware Division of Public Health will work together to get the site up and going.
FEMA will provide resources and federal staffing support, as well as operational support at this site. It is being held in Dover because FEMA rules only allow a high-volume event in one location and provides an economy of scale, said A.J. Schall, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
The vaccination site is the first of its kind in Region 3, which includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia .
“We’re committed to vaccinating as many Delawareans as possible, as quickly and equitably as possible,” said Delaware Governor John C. Carney. “This will help us deliver critical second doses of a life-saving vaccine to thousands of Delawareans.”
Mike Tatoian, Dover International Speedway’s president, said its central location and size allows it to host thousands of people and vehicles with efficiency.
The State of Delaware requested federal assistance to establish a site that would be able to provide the second-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to up to 3,000 Delawareans a day for six days.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
These second-dose appointments will only be available for those who received a first-dose from the Division of Public Health at one of the following events:
- Dover Division of Motor Vehicles on Jan. 16-18
- Salesianum School in Wilmington on Jan. 18
- Delaware City Division of Motor Vehicles on Jan. 22-24
- Georgetown Division of Motor Vehicles on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24
Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be provided to those that have received their first dose at these locations.
“Organizing a multi-day event like this takes a significant amount of resources and we appreciate the work of not only our staff, but all involved to ensure that these Delawareans are able to be fully vaccinated,” said Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
The second-dose appointments for the FEMA vaccination clinic will open on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at de.gov/fema. Appointments will be made with a simplified scheduling system created by Division of Public Health. It will not use the CDC VAMS system that some first-dose recipients may have used to make appointments for the Georgetown and Delaware City events in January.
Those without internet access may call DPH at 1-833-643-1715 but should not call until after 11 a.m. Wednesday as no appointments will be available until then. Wait time may be lengthy based on call volume and online registration is urged.
To make an appointment for the Dover Speedway clinic, an individual will have to indicate the location and date of the DPH first dose event they attended from the list above. Individuals will have an option to create an appointment for someone else after they create their own and will be able to have a single email tied to multiple appointments.
Everyone who arrives to be vaccinated must have an appointment.
Vaccinations will occur between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day, scheduled in 15-minute increments. Initially, DPH will initially schedule appointments for the first five days (Feb. 20-24) and will open the sixth day as needed.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
Visitors can access the vaccination site via Dover International Speedway’s Leipsic Road entrance. To reduce waiting, those with appointments will be urged not to show up more than an hour early. Just in case, those arriving at the site need to ensure:
- You enter the Speedway grounds via 1000 Leipsic Road, not the main entrance from Route 13.
- Your vehicle has a full tank of gas.
- You have personal identification (a driver’s licenses or photo ID).
- Proof of first COVID-19 vaccination (vaccination card).
- Confirmation of your appointment.
- Snacks to enjoy while waiting in line.
FEMA will have socially distanced staff on site to ensure prompt service is available to all and that proper COVID-19 protocol is adhered to.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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