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COVID Update for Feb 10: Vaccination Portal Updates, New Sites, AARP Tele-Townhall

Posted by
Tatiana Johnson
on
February 10, 2021

Neighbors –

Thank you for your continued patience and engagement around the vaccine distribution plans. Last week, I participated in oversight roundtables to review DC Health’s roll-out of the vaccine program. Due to the constructive feedback I heard from many of you, I was able to follow up with DC Health and request updates in the system and will continue to work with DC Health to improve the sign-up process and accessibility. As of this week, the District will have received over 100,000 vaccines, and 46% of Ward 2 seniors have received at least their first dose of the vaccine; we are hopeful this number will continue to climb.  

Below you will find information on the following topics:

  • Who is Eligible for an Appointment
  • How to Obtain an Appointment
  • My visit to Our Senior Public Housing Sites in Ward 2 for Their Vaccination Administration
  • Updates to the Portal and Coronavirus Call Center
  • Vaccination Sites
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • The District Government’s Newest Vaccination Outreach Efforts
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Tele-Townhall with AARP, DC Health, and the DC Office on Aging

Who is Eligible for an Appointment

The following populations are now receiving the vaccine in Washington, DC:

  • Individuals who work in health care settings;
  • Members of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department;
  • Residents of long-term and intermediate care facilities and residents of community residential facilities/group homes;
  • DC residents who are 65 years old and older;
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness;
  • Members of the Metropolitan Police Department;
  • Personnel responsible for Continuity of District Government;
  • Teachers and staff who are, or will be, working in person at a traditional or public charter school;
  • Licensed Child Care Providers;
  • Teachers and Staff of Independent Schools in DC; and
  • Department of Corrections Employees.

DC Veterans aged 65 and older may be able to get vaccinated and should visit https://va.gov or call 202-745-8000 for more information.

The following link has the different Phases and Tiers for vaccination: https://tinyurl.com/y4q4vsx7. Currently, we are in Phase 1B, Tier 2.

How to Obtain an Appointment

Appointments will be made available every Thursday morning at 9 a.m. for high priority zip codes and every Friday morning at 9 a.m. appointments are available for ALL residents in the aforementioned eligible categories.

According to the Executive Office of the Mayor, “priority zip codes include areas of the city where residents are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including number of cases and mortality rate. This week, Wards 5, 7, and 8 were prioritized because they have the lowest percentages of residents who are 65 and older who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.” At this time, the priority zip codes for Thursday morning appointments that are focused in Wards 5, 7, and 8 include: 20422, 20011, 20017, 20018, 20002, 20001, 20019, 20020, 20032, 20593.

On Thursday morning, more than 230 call takers will be available to help residents make appointments over the phone. To book an appointment by phone, residents should call the District’s hotline at 855-363-0333.

Despite the increased capacity at the Call Center, it is recommended that residents with internet access use the https://vaccinate.dc.gov portal to make an appointment.

Appointments may also be obtained directly through the following facilities. Please continue to visit these websites to learn more and find out whether the facility is only accepting former patients or new patients.

Additionally, vaccination appointments will now be made available on Mondays at noon and at 7:00 p.m. through One Medical for individuals working in- person for a licensed childcare provider or an independent or charter school located in the District. The One Medical portal can be accessed through an email sent from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to eligible workers which provided vaccination information.

We encourage you to sign-up for alerts regarding appointment availability at https://vaccinate.dc.gov.

My Visit to Senior Public Housing Sites in Ward 2 for Vaccination Administration

Councilmember Pinto with Healthcare Workers at Claridge Towers in Ward 2

This week, the DC Housing Authority partnered with Sibley Memorial Hospital, John Hopkins Medicine to vaccinate residents in our public housing facilities for seniors. On Saturday, I joined our healthcare heroes as they administered the COVID-19 vaccination to seniors living at Claridge Towers here in Ward 2. Seniors living at the Horizon House were also vaccinated on Saturday.

I am grateful for the action and commitment shown by our healthcare workers, volunteers, and medical students to get our seniors and other vulnerable populations vaccinated.

Updates to the Vaccinate.dc.gov Portal and Coronavirus Call Center

The Mayor and DC Health are continuing to make updates and improvements to the vaccinate.dc.gov portal and Coronavirus Call Center. Updates that are going into effect tomorrow, Thursday, February 11, 2021, have been shared below.

Please continue to share your concerns with our office so that we can relay and encourage changes. Improvements made to vaccinate.dc.gov include:

Updates Going Into Effect Tomorrow, Thursday, February, 11, 2021

  • The Call Center will have access to a dedicated supply of appointments to ensure that residents who are only able to book an appointment by phone can successfully do so.
  • Residents will now be able to contact the Call Center to confirm their appointments or have their confirmation resent to their email, regardless of how they booked their appointment.
  • A new, screen-reader accessible “Book Appointment” button will be added to the site to decrease confusion when users are selecting the vaccination site to book an appointment. Previously, users would need to click on the site name, but that was not clear in the instructions.
  • The instructions for booking an appointment are now within a highly visible “border box” that highlights their visibility.
  • In order to help users who do not live in DC, but who are helping to book an appointment for a family member who is a DC resident, the portal now clarifies that the user must consider their time zone when selecting an appointment. The confirmation email will show the appointment in Eastern Standard Time.

Previously Announced Updates

  • Removal of CAPTCHA during the booking process: the only remaining CAPTCHA (with enhanced performance) is during the initial screening and is required to secure the site.
  • Increased site resources: the site was moved to better infrastructure to support the numbers of users clicking on the site at one time and to increase the speed of confirmation email delivery.
  • Removal of the “change booking” capability: this functionality was removed since new appointments could not be guaranteed and the user did not know if other appointments were available until having already canceled their appointment.
  • Enhanced vaccination site management: the website will automatically hide vaccination sites where all appointments are booked; previously, this was manually performed and would lead to the public seeing sites without available appointments.
  • Streamlined process: the removal of questions regarding insurance information will further streamline the process of booking an appointment.
  • Site navigation improvements: updated help text and easier to understand buttons will make the website easier to navigate.
  • Additional confirmation options: users will now have the option to print a confirmation page in lieu of showing an email.
  • The confirmation page will remind users of the address of the vaccination site.

Vaccination Sites

The District will begin using the Lamond Recreation Center instead of the Hattie Holmes Wellness Center on Monday, February 15.

Beginning with this Thursday’s release, appointments beginning on Tuesday, February 16 will be booked at the Lamond Recreation Center.

DC Health will work with Safeway to notify all individuals who are currently scheduled for second doses at Hattie Holmes of the change. Signage and personnel will also be on site at Hattie Holmes to assist with the transition.

Transportation Appointments

The District’s Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) cover all transportation (free of charge), to and from, all medically necessary covered services and appointments. To request transportation, the Enrollee should call the following number to schedule the service:

AmeriHealth | Call 1-800-315-3485

CareFirst | Call 1-855-824-5693.

Health Services for Children with Special Needs | Call 1-866-991-5433

MedStar | Call 1-866-201-9974  

New Vaccination Outreach Efforts

Senior Vaccine Buddies Program: The Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs (MOCA) and the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services (MOCRS) are working with Serve DC to pair senior citizens in the community with volunteers who can help them to register for vaccination appointments.

Faith in the Vaccine Pilot Program: This week, DC Health announced the launch of the “Faith in the Vaccine” pilot initiative with DC’s faith community to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible District residents. DC Health is partnering with the Leadership Council for Healthy Communities and the Black Coalition Against COVID to help spread the word about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. This week, the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church supported the launch by holding two vaccine clinics. DC Health worked with the church to pre-register 200 residents to receive the vaccine.

The COVID-19 Clinician Champion Program (DC CCCP): This partnership between DC Health and the Medical Society of the District of Columbia has been established to provide a cadre of medical experts who can serve as speakers during community meetings and events focused on COVID-19 and the importance of the science behind the vaccine.

Requests for Speakers can be made through the DC Health Community Outreach Request Form at https://dchealth.dc.gov/service/community-outreach-request.

To receive updates from DC Health regarding appointment availability visit https://vaccinate.dc.gov and sign up for alerts. Please also sign up for our newsletter at www.brookepintodc.com.

Senior Tele-Townhall THIS Friday with AARP, DC Health, and the DC Office on Aging

Please join DC Health and AARP DC for a Tele-Town Hall on Covid-19 and the latest news about vaccine distribution in the District this Friday, February 12th at 11 a.m.

Dr. Nesbitt of DC Health and Laura Newland of DC Department of Aging and Community Living will attend. At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds will also share her experience with the vaccine.

Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions of the experts and learn more about the vaccine rollout. Social workers, residents, community organizations, lead agencies, and advocacy groups are encouraged to attend.

  • Date: This Friday, February, 12, 2021
  • Time: 11:00 a.m.
  • No registration is required, just call in at 866-495-1091


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