News & Politics

DC Is Replacing Its Current Vaccine Sign-Up System

District residents in eligible groups can pre-register starting Wednesday—instead of competing for slots.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced in a press conference today that the city will be launching its vaccine appointment pre-registration program Wednesday. All eligible DC residents are encouraged to register when the portal opens.

The new program aims to improve equitable distribution of the vaccine in the District. Individuals will be chosen randomly to fill the following apportionments:

  • 20% for residents in priority zip codes 65 years and older
  • 20% for residents in all zip codes 65 years and older
  • 20% for residents in priority zip codes who are 18-64 with a medical condition
  • 20% for residents in all zip codes who are 18-64 with a medical condition
  • 10% for residents in priority zip codes who are part of an eligible work force (as of this publication, DC is on the “prevention of morbidity & mortality” stage of Phase 1C Tier 1)
  • 10% for members of an eligible work force regardless of home address

For the first week, DC will send out appointment invitations on Friday, with a second wave on Monday. After March 15, appointment invitations will be sent out on Thursdays, Sundays, and, if needed, Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Once individuals receive an invitation, they have 48 hours to make an appointment. If they fail to do so in the 48-hour period, they’ll be put back into the system and will have to wait to receive another invitation.

Officials stressed that time of registration would not affect how soon a person would be selected for a vaccine appointment, and said non-eligible individuals should refrain from registering so as to avoid overloading the system. Once individuals are registered, it could take days, weeks, or even months for them to be contacted, officials said.

Bowser said the Biden administration is working to increase the amount of vaccines distributed across the country. DC has received 151,000 doses so far, and will be receiving 24,760 this week. Just 5.4% of DC residents are fully vaccinated — the CDC reports roughly 10% of all Americans are fully inoculated against Covid.

Eligible DC residents can register on Wednesday at vaccinate.dc.gov, or by calling 855-363-0333.

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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.