COVID Update Feb 26: Vaccination Portal Failures, New Appointments Available for Priority Zip Codes

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
February 26, 2021


Today, District residents experienced a series of failures as they attempted to book vaccination appointments at

These technical failures, coupled with the fact that residents could not get through to the call center, are unacceptable. There are no excuses. I voiced these concerns to the City Administrator during a performance oversight hearing this morning. I have also followed up with the District’s Department of Health (DOH) and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) to better understand why these technical failures occurred and how we can ensure it does not happen again.

I have urged DC Health for the last several months to adopt a pre-registration system so residents can fill out their information and be notified of available appointments. Today, DC Health informed me that they are making these changes to the registration system and expect them will be live in mid-March.

Here’s what comes next this week:

  • Tomorrow, Saturday, February 27, at 9:00 a.m., the District will make 3,500 vaccination appointments available for eligible individuals living in priority zip codes who were unable to book an appointment due to the technical failures on Thursday morning. The priority zip codes include parts of Ward 2 but are focused in Wards 5, 7, and 8 and include: 20422, 20011, 20017, 20018, 20002, 20001, 20019, 20020, 20032, 20593. These are determined by DC Health based on where COVID-19 case rates are highest and vaccination rates are lowest.
  • Next week, appointments will be made available on Thursday, March 4 for priority zip codes, and Friday, March 5 for all zip codes, at 6:00 p.m. (the time will alternate each week between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to account for different schedules of residents).
  • The District is now in Phase 1C Tier 1.

The following groups are now eligible to receive the vaccine:

  • 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;
  • Department of Corrections Employees;
  • Grocery Store Workers;
  • Health and Human Services and Social Services Outreach Workers; and
  • Manufacturing and Food Packaging Workers.

Individuals aged 16-64 with qualifying medical conditions are also elgibile. Qualifying medical conditions include: Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and other Chronic Lung Disease; Bone Marrow and Solid Organ Transplantation; Cancer; Cerebrovascular Disease; Chronic Kidney Disease; Congenital Heart Disease; Diabetes Mellitus; Heart Conditions, such as Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, or Cardiomyopathies; HIV; Hypertension; Immunocompromised State; Inherited Metabolic Disorders; Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Liver Disease; Neurologic Conditions; Obesity, BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2; Pregnancy; Severe Genetic Disorders; Sickle Cell Disease; and Thalassemia.

Residents who are unsure whether they qualify for the vaccine based on a qualifying medical condition should contact their health care provider.

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

I know that this has been an incredibly stressful time, and my team and I will continue to assist you and advocate on your behalf. My goal is to help ensure that all residents can be vaccinated as quickly as possible, and I know that providing a simplified and reliable registration process is fundamental to that effort.

Please stay tuned for updates.

Yours in Service,


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