News & Politics

Today’s Vaccine Signup Was Messy Again. Next Week Doesn’t Look Promising.

DC officials had few details to offer about the pre-registration system planned to go up next week.

Today is allegedly the last day DC residents will have to compete Hunger Games style for coveted vaccine appointments. Though this morning’s process was more streamlined than the Captcha-error filled hellscape of last week’s sign-up experience, users still encountered some technical errors, and all 5,750 appointments were booked in less than 10 minutes.

DC officials have promised residents a pre-registration system next week that should streamline the appointment signup process. Under the new system, Washingtonians would input their identifying information and qualifying criteria ahead of time, and the city would contact individuals to sign up for an appointment on a case-by-case basis according to appointment availability and demonstrated need.

But in a press conference yesterday, DC officials had few details to provide about what this pre-registration system might look like. Though they said individuals over 65 and in priority Zip codes would be prioritized for appointments, officials couldn’t confirm further details about how the system will operate, or how groups beyond those categories would be prioritized by the city. They also could not confirm an official launch date for the pre-registration portal, even though current trends point towards more vaccine appointments becoming available next Thursday. And at-large councilmember Elissa Silverman tweeted yesterday that a vendor had not yet been chosen. “We announced launch of a system that we haven’t committed to buying,” she wrote.

All that to say there’s a distinct possibility thousands of DC residents will be refreshing the same vaccine registration portal at 9 AM next Thursday and Friday. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.