Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Health announced today DC will change its Covid vaccine registration system after high user volumes caused the site to crash last week. Residents will pre-register with their information, and the city will contact them when they are eligible to register for an appointment.
Currently, most essential workers, individuals over 65, and individuals with qualifying medical conditions are eligible to register for a vaccine. Instead of sending blanket emails to everyone in those populations, DC will contact people to sign up for an appointment on a case-by-case basis depending on the number of appointments available so as not to overload the system. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said more information about how the city will prioritize individuals for vaccination will be announced tomorrow.
This change in registration won’t go into effect until next week. This week, roughly 5,750 appointments will become available on Thursday at 9 AM for individuals in priority Zip codes, and approximately 5750 appointments will be released at 9 AM Friday for individuals in all Zip codes. Members of eligible work groups will not be able to register for a vaccine this week only. Registration for these appointments will be similar to the process used last week, but the city has increased server availability, created a virtual “waiting room,” and removed the Captcha requirement in hopes of working out some of the technological issues many users have experienced.
The city has also added additional high-capacity sites to distribute the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine. Individuals will be able to see what vaccine is being offered at which site when registering. In a press release, DC Health emphasized that “all available vaccines have been proven effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19” and encouraged residents to take the first vaccine available to them.