COVID Update March 3: Pre-Registration Forthcoming, 3rd Vaccine Approved, Public Safety Alert

Posted by
Riley Gercak
March 3, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

At the start of this week, I spoke with ABC7 News about my calls for the District of Columbia to switch to a COVID-19 pre-registration vaccination system (you can watch the full clip here). Today, DC Health announced that the District will switch to a pre-registration vaccination system to book appointments beginning next week! We are excited about this effort as it will eliminate a great deal of frustration among eligible individuals who navigated a very difficult system over the last few weeks. We are also grateful for other efforts announced to improve the vaccination portal for the remainder of its use.

This week, we will begin to roll out additional sites on the vaccination portal where the one-dose Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be administered. This is the third safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in the United States. To date, the District of Columbia has now administered over 165,000 doses of the vaccine!

On the national front, President Biden believes there will be enough vaccinations on hand by May 2021 to vaccinate each adult in our country. He has also shared that the administration will prioritize the vaccination of educators. While we work to beat this virus, I ask that you all continue to do your part. When in public, please maintain a safe social distance, wear a mask, and always wash and sanitize your hands.

Finally, there are reports of possible demonstrations in the District of Columbia tomorrow, Wednesday, March 4, 2021. The District Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMA) is closely monitoring the situation and will alert members of the public as required. Please remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to authorities (you can anonymously text MPD at 50411). You can also sign up for alerts at

In this newsletter you will find information on the following topics:

  • The New Pre-Registration System and Portal Updates
  • Vaccination-Eligible Population Groups
  • How to Obtain an Appointment
  • Administration of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
  • Information for Fully-Vaccinated Individuals
  • Government Officials to Answer Questions Concerning Vaccine Registration TOMORROW
  • Transportation Assistance to Vaccination Appointments
  • Vaccination Outreach Efforts

Yours in Service,


The New Pre-Registration System

Next week, the District of Columbia will switch to a COVID-19 pre-registration vaccination system. This means that individuals will be able to provide their information to DC Health through a pre-registration website or by calling the District’s call center. As appointments are made available, individuals who have pre-registered will receive an email, phone call, and/or text message alerting them that they have an opportunity to make a vaccination appointment.

This week, we will continue to use the appointment portal and call center. For your information, DC Health and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) have been working with Microsoft to ensure a better user experience.

Updates to the portal include:

  • Increased server availability for the portal,
  • The addition of a “waiting room” that will only allow 3,000 users to access the appointment questionnaire at a time, and the
  • Complete removal of the CAPTCHA feature from the questionnaire.  

New Vaccination Outreach Efforts

On Thursday, March 4, at 9:00 a.m., approximately 5,750 appointments will open to DC residents who live in priority zip codes (20422, 20011, 20017, 20018, 20002, 20001, 20019, 20020, 20032, 20593) AND are 65 and older OR who are between the ages of 18-64 with a qualifying medical condition.

On Friday, Friday, March 5 at 9:00 a.m., approximately 5,750 appointments will open to all eligible DC residents who are 65 and older or who are between the ages of 18-64 with a qualifying medical condition.

Just for this week, portal and call center appointments will not open to workers in eligible workforce groups.

As our office reported last week, the District of Columbia is now in Phase 1C Tier 1. For a complete listing of individuals who are eligible to book an appointment and receive a vaccine, please click here to review our COVID Update from February 26.

How to Obtain an Appointment and Administration of the New Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

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 are being 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.

Those booking appointments will see new locations serving as high-capacity sites where the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be administered. This one-dose vaccine is the third safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in the United States. Users will be able to see when choosing a vaccination site which vaccine will be administered there. However, please know that DC Health is emphasizing that all available vaccines have been proven effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. Residents are highly encouraged to take the first vaccine available to them.

We encourage you to sign-up for alerts regarding appointment availability at

Children’s National Hospital will serve as an access point for 16- and 17-year-olds with qualifying medical conditions. Parents or guardians can click here to complete the registration form and place their child’s name on the waitlist.

Information for Fully-Vaccinted Individuals

DC Health has updated several guidance documents for individuals who are fully vaccinated. Documents include:

  • Guidance for Travel,
  • First Steps for Non-Healthcare Employers when Employees Test Positive for COVID-19,
  • Guidance for Close Contacts of a Person Confirmed to have COVID-19, and
  • Guidance for Quarantine after COVID-19 Exposure.

Updated guidance documents can be found at:

Government Officials to Answer Questions Regarding Changes to DC's Vaccination Registration Process  

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 4, at 9:00 a.m., the Council will have an oversight hearing with DC Health officials to ask questions about the recent technological failures concerning the District’s current vaccination registration portal and our pending switch to a pre-registration system.

I thank my colleague, Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C. Gray, Chairman of the Health Committee, for hosting tomorrow’s hearing. I will be there to ask questions and get answers on behalf of Ward 2 residents.

You can view tomorrow’s live stream of the hearing by clicking here.

Transportation Assistance

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.

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

To receive updates from DC Health regarding appointment availability visit and sign up for alerts. Please also sign up for our newsletter at

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