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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

State officials call Dover mass vaccination site a success.

The First State fell short of its goal to deliver 18,000 vaccine doses at Dover International Speedway last week.

But the Delaware Emergency Management Agency still deems the mass vaccination event succesful.

The event was a joint effort by DEMA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and state officials say just under 16,000 people were vaccinated, including those getting doses at an invitation only day for educators and child care workers Saturday.

Schall says the effort with FEMA last week went smoothly because the state learned from previous events, like the ones at its DMVs in January.

"It was awesome last week because I think we were able to take things that are federal partners brought in from sites that they've done and we were able to train them on what we've done and the lessons we've learned and really have a good partnership that balance those two out.," said Schall. "I don't think there's any shining new example last week that we didn't identify back in early January when we had a few of our first big events."

Using the speedway was so successful DEMA Director AJ Schall says the site will stay ready for another event when the state has enough vaccines.

"We could probably do 5,000 a day there if we wanted to with that same supply. That's the problem, right? We only get so many vaccine doses a week," said Schall. "But that site is going to be in a warm status, we're not taking the tents down, we're not moving the lanes right now and we'll look at using it when the vaccine supply is here and turn it back on."

But don’t expect other mass vaccination sites elsewhere in the state. Schall adds distributing the vaccine is not a one size fits all situation, and other smaller sites are needed too.

"We're going to need Dover Downs and we're going to need all those events that may be able to get a hundred people in some communities," said Scahll. "So it's a soup to nuts type of vision that we have to make sure we capture some people in their community, get people that can’t travel, and identify people that might not have the ability to travel as well to get it."

Schall believes the vaccination events will eventually run as smoothly as COVID testing is - but notes the issue with testing was infrastructure, while the hurdle with vaccination remains supply.


Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.