Texas Motor Speedway vaccine hub set to give out 31,000 doses this week

Denton County health leaders hope to vaccinate more people in one day than most area sites do in a week.

The vaccination hub at Texas Motor Speedway opened for the first time Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. By the end of the week, health leaders expect to give 31,000 coronavirus shots.

Denton County Health Director Dr. Matt Richardson said TMS was the obvious choice for the mega vaccination hub. The site can handle thousands of vehicles at any given time.

"We've got that all mapped out. It's very technical, but we feel good about it," he said.

TMS President Eddie Gossage offered up his venue and expertise.

"We have one the biggest parking lots in the world, and we've got a lot of pavement," he said. "So we're able to set up 16 lanes."

The new site has 16 drive-thru lanes, which are staffed by some 400 people. Many come from neighboring cities and towns and some are volunteers.

The hope is to vaccinate 1,000 people per hour as motorists drive through a series of tents.

"Really in a mobile clinic application, the only way to operationalize a huge number of vaccines and vehicles is to do it in a very large footprint," Dr. Richardson said.

The vaccines are being done by appointment only and include folks in 1A and 1B who registered on the Denton County vaccine interest portal. There are currently 165,000 people on the county waiting list.

But Dr. Richardson cautioned against trying to share the appointment information.

"Those QR codes and appointments are highly-specific to those individuals and that cannot be shared," he warned. "So if you forward your QR code and we've already given a vaccine, we're not going to give another one."

One man that FOX 4 spoke to said he registered with Denton County two weeks ago and was surprised at how soon he received an appointment.

"I'm glad I had the opportunity to get the shot," Steven Deason said. "I got notified by registering online. I'm No. 24,000 I believe and I got notified once last week and then just recently in the last days I got notified via text message and email."

Victoria Langham said she also got a text message on Sunday letting her know about her appointment at TMS.

"It's important because I have severe asthma. I've had it since I was little. The flu, pneumonia, just takes me like that. I've had a rocephin shot probably over 10 times and that's a serious steroid for something as much as a common cold or standing in the rain," she said.

Dr. Richardson is also asking people not to show up for their appointment early, which could cause a backup.

Additional clinics on Thursday and Friday will begin at 7:30 a.m. at TMS. Only individuals with appointments and the proper identification will be allowed on site.