On Monday morning, after providing the daily COVID-19 situational update, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Bowser was vaccinated with the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine following the press conference. She received her first dose at the Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center (700 Second St. NE), which celebrated its tenth anniversary the same day.
Bowser said she hates needles and was nervous about getting the shot on camera, but that it was important for everyone to get the vaccine when it is their turn so “our lives can get back to normal.”
Bowser received the vaccine as part of the vaccine plan to ensure ‘continuity of government operations’, she said, together with 50 members of the Emergency Operations Center.
As of Monday, the District has distributed more than 51,000 doses of the vaccine and will receive more than 9,000 additional doses for DC residents this week. About 70 percent of the appointments allocated for DCPS have been allocated, Nesbitt said.
Currently, workers in healthcare settings, DC Fire Emergency Medical Services (DC Fire EMS), DC Police, residents aged 65+ and public school teachers and staff working in-classroom.
DC Health Director Nesbitt said that although DC is in Phase 1b and Tier 2 of the District vaccine plan, it is impossible to vaccinate everyone eligible during this stage because of a low supply.
Nesbitt called the vaccine supply “dismal” and said her team is having to make difficult decisions about who is eligible to receive the vaccine.
“We simply do not have enough vaccines,” Nesbitt said. “Were still in a position that we have to make decisions based on risk and logistics.”
Bowser called on those who are eligible to receive the vaccine, currently those aged 65 years and older, to sign up to get their doses. She emphasized the safety, reliability and necessity of the vaccine for all.
“If you were nervous about being first, 10 million people have now gone ahead of you,” Bowser said. “This vaccine is the key to ending the pandemic and getting our lives back.”
At DC Public Schools, 3,900 appointments were released on Friday and over 70% have already been claimed. Bowser said that not all DCPS employees are able to receive the vaccine at this time as it is limited to in-person staff at this time.
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with HillRag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.