Vaccination hub at Texas Motor Speedway off to fast start

One of the largest COVID-19 vaccination hubs in the country is up and running at Texas Motor Speedway.

Denton County health leaders expect more than 30,000 North Texans to get shots there by the end of the week.

More than 400 volunteers greeted 16 lanes of vaccine recipients at the Texas Motor Speedway drive-thru site on Tuesday.

The county says an estimated 9,100 people were vaccinated. It's a little short of the goal of 10,000, but county leaders are proud of what they accomplished in just one day.

Timelapse video shows swift work at the state’s largest drive-thru. It’s perhaps the largest in the country and even surpassing vaccination sites like Dodgers stadium.

The TMS goal is to administer 1,000 shots an hour, even running slightly ahead of pace early in the day.

In large part, organizers credit the supersized TMS lot allowing people to stay in vehicles.

"That makes it easy for those who are seniors or perhaps handicapped who don’t want to be out in the cold, rain whatever it may be," said Denton County Commissioner Dianne Edmondson.

They also credit the non-shareable QR code given to each recipient before they arrive, heading off long waits and confusion that have crippled other sites.

"That QR code follows you and your demographic information," said Denton County Health Director Dr. Matt Richardson. "You can’t get vaccinated and pass it on to someone else because it’s following you."

There were a few kinks, but it otherwise went smoothly. It’s giving hope life as we know it will soon resume.

Dr. Richardson says his office will make some adjustments for clinics set for Thursday and Friday.

"We're going to try and overbook. We did have a lot of cancellations so we're going to continue to overbook. That's a balancing act for us. We're going to make sure we get it just right," he said. "So we don't waste any vaccine and make sure we get as many people through as possible."

Denton County Judge Andy Eads says there's room to grow.

"The great news is the way we designed this footprint at TMS," he said. "We can totally scale up this operation to give out much more than 30,000 per week."

Dr. Richardson has a request for folks with appointments later in the week.

"Don’t arrive too early. This is not like the airport," he said. "If you come at your appointment time, you'll move through line efficiently and quickly."

The site is reopening Thursday and Friday by appointment only.

The site is set to administer thousands more shots as supply allows.

"It’s not a race for the top of the heap," Dr. Richardson said. "It is a race to beat the pandemic and needles in arms is the way to get there."

Judge Eads says it's too soon to tell how many doses the county will get next week. He says the mega vaccination hub will remain at TMS for at least a month.