News & Politics

Vaccines in DC, Maryland, and Virginia: What We Know So Far

The Covid-19 vaccines are coming. A look at what to expect around the Washington region as distribution begins:


Initial doses expected: 6,800 from Pfizer

Estimated population: 705,749, according to the US Census Bureau

How soon? The District’s health director, LaQuandra Nesbitt, said the first round would arrive “mid-December — but it will only be administered after the city fine-tunes plans for storing and handling the vaccine,” according to the Washington Post.

What leaders are saying: In a letter to Operation Warp Speed’s chief advisor and chief operating officer  last week, Mayor Muriel Bowser said the current dose distribution plan would be “woefully insufficient” for the city’s healthcare workers, most of whom do not live in the District. With an allotment system based on residential population, DC will only be able to vaccinate some 10 percent of the 85,000 workers. “To rectify this, we ask the federal government to apportion Washington, DC’s early vaccine allotment based upon our workforce population, which is more in alignment with our healthcare delivery needs, rather than our residential population,” Bowser wrote in a letter to the feds.


Initial doses expected: 155,000 soon, and about 300,000 from both Pfizer and Moderna by the end of December.

Estimated population: 6,045,680, according to the US Census Bureau

How soon? “Distribution could begin the week of December 14 for the Pfizer vaccine, and the week of December 21 for the Moderna vaccine,” reads Tuesday’s press release from Governor Larry Hogan.

What leaders are saying: “The cavalry is coming, a vaccine is on the way, but it is absolutely critical that we continue to fight this virus with everything we’ve got, and we need to keep doing all the things that we know will help to keep us safe,” said Hogan in his announcement.


Initial doses expected: About 72,000 first, and 480,000 doses from both Pfizer and Moderna by the end of December

Estimated population: 8,535,519, according to the US Census Bureau

How soon? By New Year’s Eve, says the Virginia Department of Health. “All 72,150 initial doses will be distributed directly to geographically diverse health care systems with ultracold storage capacity, and will go to [health care personnel],” reads the VDOH statement.

What leaders are saying: “Certainly, as a physician, I have experience doing this in the past, working with vaccinations,” Governor Ralph Northam told PBS NewsHour on Monday. “And so we’re confident that, by early to mid summer, all Virginians will have access to the vaccination, which is really encouraging news. There’s finally some light at the end of this long, dark tunnel, and we’re all really looking forward to that.”

Rosa is a senior editor at Bitch Magazine. She’s written for Washingtonian and Smithsonian magazine.