Bowser Talks Vaccine Preregistration, Phase Two Updates

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DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) speaks during Thursday's situational update. Screenshot: FacebookLive.

During Thursday’s situational update, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and DC Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt spoke about changes to how residents make COVID-19 vaccination appointments and the District’s reopening plan.

Vaccine Appointments 

Next week, individuals will be able to provide their information on a pre registration system for the vaccine through vaccinate.dc.gov. Registrants will be required to provide information about their DC residency, employment and work setting. The questionnaire will also ask registrants to report health history information such as vaccine reactions and current COVID-19 positivity or negativity status.

No precise day has been set for pre-registration to begin.

The Mayor emphasized that equity in the vaccine distribution process will continue to be a priority and the District will continue to set aside vaccines for those in priority zip codes.

Both Bowser and Nesbitt emphasized that pre-registration is not the same as “taking a number”.

“Chronology is the thing that we will weight the least,” Nesbitt said, emphasizing that pre-registration is not establishing a place in line. Rather, DC Health will prioritize those registered by the risk to their health and life as well as by the essential nature of their employment role.

DC Health will be supporting three high capacity vaccination sites. Appointments will be required though the website (vaccinate.dc.gov) for these mass vaccination site appointments and will take place in the Walter Washington Convention Center (801 Mt Vernon Pl NW), the Entertainment and Sports Arena (1100 Oak St SE) and Providence Health Center (1150 Varnum St NE).

DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said that while the District had these sites available, the number of doses had not justified their use until this week.

This is also the last week for the first-come, first-serve system. Thursday at 9:00 a.m., 5,750 additional appointments available to individuals aged 65 and over as well as those 18 and over with a qualifying health condition in priority zip codes were gone in under seven minutes.

On Friday 5,750 more appointments will be made available to the same population Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. and all zip codes will be eligible to register. Successful residents say you should get on the registration page at 8:58 a.m. and refresh until you are let in. Visit coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc

Reopening and Restriction Changes

Travel-related quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements for individuals who have received the vaccine may be waived. If an individual has received both doses of the vaccine, is within 90 days of the last required dose and does not show any symptoms consistent with the virus, they are exempt from the District’s requirements to quarantine or show a negative test after returning from travel.

The District has planned, tentatively, to allow high school sports to resume starting on March 15. The current protocol requires sports to resume in phases starting with individual conditioning, then non-contact sports and, last, moderate-contact sports and activities.

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 [email protected]