Neighbors – thank you for staying engaged and committed to receiving your vaccines as soon as possible. I want to provide an update from what we know this week including:
Yours in Service,
The following populations are now receiving the vaccine in Washington, DC:
This week, DC Health will also begin on-site vaccinations at two DC Housing Authority senior properties in Ward 2 as part of the senior vaccination initiative. Also in the initial stages of rollout are vaccinations for Department of Corrections employees and residents. Earlier this week, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education also contacted licensed childcare providers and private and independent school leaders to begin collecting contact information for in-person staff to ensure that as vaccine supply allows, the District can work quickly to make appointments available to eligible staff.
The following link has the different Phases and Tiers for vaccination: https://tinyurl.com/y4q4vsx7. Currently we are in Phase 1B, Tier 2.
Appointments will be made available every Thursday morning at 9 a.m. for high priority zip codes. Every Friday morning at 9 a.m. appointments are available for ALL residents in the aforementioned eligible categories. You can obtain an appointment at https://vaccinate.dc.gov or by calling the District’s hotline at 855-363-0333.
This week, in-person staff, including teachers and support staff, at DC Public Schools (DCPS) and DC Public Charter Schools and members of the Metropolitan Police Department will begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible staff members will receive direct communication to schedule their appointment and should not try to make an appointment using the methods listed below. We understand the frustration that childcare workers were not included in this next phase of vaccine appointments. More phases will be announced over the next several weeks.
Appointments are available through DC Health and we encourage you to sign-up for alerts regarding appointment availability at https://vaccinate.dc.gov
Appointments may also be obtained directly through the following facilities:
• Kaiser Permanente members should visit kp.org/DCvaccine
Please visit these websites to learn more whether the facility is only accepting former patients or new patients.
Thank you very much for writing in to make suggestions to the web portal systems. Councilmember Pinto relayed these suggestions in a letter with her colleagues and the Department of Health has adopted some of these recommendations. Improvements made to vaccinate.dc.gov include:
Improvements going into effect tomorrow include:
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
Additional locations will be opened as the District receives additional vaccines and additional vaccines are approved for use. DC Health is optimistic that more vaccines to prevent COVID-19 will be approved for use by the FDA this spring. These vaccines are not expected to have the same storage.
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
Vaccine Availability from the Federal Government
The foundational issue around vaccinations in DC is that we do not have enough vaccine to accommodate all essential workers and vulnerable populations that are now eligible to receive the vaccine, or in the case of educators and others, soon will be eligible. In fact, because DC is still home to so many essential workers who do not reside in DC, our challenge is more acute than our surrounding jurisdictions. Until the supply increases, the Health Department will be unable to provide a vaccine to everyone who wants it or needs it. The District is dependent on allotments of the vaccine that the federal government provides each week and as soon as doses are sent to us, appointments are made available.
This week, the Biden Administration committed to increasing the District’s vaccine allocation by 15% for the next three weeks. This commitment will accelerate distribution and availability of vaccines and brings hope to all of us during this uncertain time.
Public Roundtable This Friday, 1/29
On Friday, January 29th, the Committee on Health will host a public roundtable where residents can share testimony about the vaccine appointment sign-up process. You can learn more about how to testify in person via Zoom or in writing here: https://dccouncil.us/event/health-public-oversight-roundtable-8/.
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. Together as a community we will continue to fight this pandemic.