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COVID Vaccine Update Feb 17

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
on
February 17, 2021

Councilmember Brooke Pinto, Ward 2

Neighbors –

Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, February 18th, individuals who work in a grocery store setting, health and human services and social services outreach, manufacturing, and food packaging will become eligible to register for vaccination appointments.

In addition to this great news, it has been reported that over 3,500 Ward 2 residents aged 65 and older have received their first dose of the vaccine, and the federal government also announced that additional vaccines have been secured and will be sent to our city. I am confident that progress is being made on our vaccine roll out and that more and more residents will receive their vaccines each week moving forward. We are grateful to DC Health, the entirety of the District Government, community organizations, and medical partners that have helped make this possible.

DC Health still aims to focus on the currently eligible priority groups this month and will likely not open up eligibility other than for grocery store workers until the beginning of March. However, decisions are always evolving and we will always make sure to get you the most up to date information regarding the vaccine, registration, and appointment availability each week.

Below, you will find information on the following topics:

  • Who is Eligible for an Appointment
  • How to Obtain an Appointment
  • Updates to the Portal and Coronavirus Call Center
  • Vaccination Sites
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Information on Vaccination Outreach Efforts

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

DC Veterans aged 65 and older may be able to get vaccinated and should visit https://www.washingtondc.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp or call 202-745-8000 for more information.

The following link has the different Phases and Tiers for vaccination: https://tinyurl.com/y4q4vsx7.

How to Obtain an Appointment

Going forward, appointments will be made available on alternating schedules. One week, appointments will be made available on Thursday and Friday evenings at 6 p.m., and the next week, appointments will be made available on Thursday and Friday mornings at 9 a.m.

Appointments for high priority zip codes will still be made available on Thursdays while appointments for ALL residents in the aforementioned eligible categories will be made available on Fridays.

Tomorrow, Thursday, February 18, at 6:00 p.m., approximately 2,450 appointments will be made available to DC residents who live in priority zip codes and are 65 years old or older and/or are members of an eligible workforce group.

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.

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 are 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.

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. 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 Effective Last Week, 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

On Monday, Februrary 15, the District began using the Lamond Recreation Center instead of the Hattie Holmes Wellness Center; appointments beginning on Tuesday, February 16 have also been booked at the Lamond Recreation Center.

DC Health is working work with Safeway to notify all individuals who were previously 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.

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.

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