UPDATE, 9:45 a.m. Jan. 21: All 2,235 appointments available at 9 a.m. were allocated by 9:25 a.m. Thursday, according to DC Health.
Appointments are dictated by vaccine supply, said Mayor Muriel Bowser. Her Chief of Staff John Falcicchio said that the District continues to advocate for the federal government to send more vaccine, adding that the District had told federal partners, including the incoming administration, “if you get us the vaccine, we’ll get it out.”
District seniors (65 years and older) and healthcare workers can continue to register for vaccination appointments using the vaccinate.dc.gov portal or by calling the District’s coronavirus call center at 855-363-0333.
Going forward, appointments will be released every Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to eligible residents in priority zip codes, and additional appointments will be released every Friday at 9:00 a.m. for all DC zip codes.
On Thursday, January 21, 2,235 additional vaccination appointments will be made available for District residents who are 65 years of age and older and/or health care workers and who live in priority zip codes.
The priority zip codes cover most of Wards 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8 and include: 20001, 20002, 20009, 20010, 20011, 20012, 20015, 20017, 20018, 20019, 20020, 20030, 20032, 20039, 20040, 20056, 20059, 20060, 20064, 20223, 20242, 20260, 20306, 20317, 20340, 20373, 20375, 20422, 20441, 20509, 20542, and 20593.
On Friday, January 22, at 9:00 a.m., 740 additional appointments will become available to any DC resident who is 65 and older or any individual who works in a health care setting in DC.
Residents 65+ will only be able to access the portal on Thursday, Jan 21 if their address is in one of the “strategic” zip codes. The system is now designed to bump out anyone immediately if they are from another zip code.
There are only 740 vaccine appointments available on Friday morning which are likely to, go quickly. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) 6B05 Steve Holtzman wrote to his constituents about the changes DC Health has made to the system since the last batch of appointments were released.
When individual sites run out of vaccine appointments or vaccines, the system will automatically remove them from the options list and they will not be visible, Holtzman said. Once all the appointments on all the sites are taken, the portal will close down, and people will not be able to get into it again until it reopens with more available appointments.
Also, The “captcha” function included in the site, which previously popped up twice and had created difficulties has been reduced to one place at the beginning of the application access.
“Let’s be real clear; we’re talking about the release of 4,000 [or] 6,000 –up to 8,000 appointments where our need is much greater,” Bowser said Tuesday. “So, as long as we are working in this very intense period of scarcity over the vaccine, we know that people who need and want the vaccine won’t be able to get it. So almost every system is imperfect, until we have enough vaccine.”
Bowser said the District continues to advocate for the federal government to send more vaccine.
If DC’s weekly vaccine allotment from the federal government changes, this schedule is likely to change in accordance. The District’s goal is the make the vaccine available promptly as supply comes in from the federal government and to ensure an equitable distribution of the vaccine across all eight wards.
Earlier this month, DC Health shared the District’s updated vaccination program phases, broken down by tiers. The phases and tiers consider populations based on two factors: 1) prevention of morbidity and mortality and 2) preservation of societal functions.
The first populations in those groups to begin receiving the vaccine to were individuals in nursing homes then followed by District residents 65 years and older as well as health care workers, EMS workers, and frontline public health workers. Teachers are expected to begin receiving the vaccine on Jan. 25, with in-person staff and instructors receiving priority.
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and District planning by visiting coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccine