News & Politics

DC’s Vaccine Pre-Registration Asks Which Type of Shot You Want. But Your Answer Won’t Affect Which One You Get.

Mayor Bowser says responses are merely being used for data collection purposes.

Photo via iStock.

DC’s coronavirus vaccine pre-registration portal opened yesterday—a welcome change from the previous system that garnered comparisons to the Hunger Games. Still, it has not been without some confusion. Those enrolling in the system—which yesterday included 77,000 people—were confronted with the following query: “Do you have a preference for one of the Covid-19 vaccines?”

Response options each of the three available vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, or “no preference.” In a registration process that has been fraught with system errors and technical snafus, the question prompted even more questions. Is one vaccine more desirable than another? Would selecting a specific vaccine prevent a respondent from receiving a different shot?

Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed in a press conference today that responses would not impact how the vaccine is doled out. Rather, the prompt is simply being used to amass information.

“We also want to clarify that if you indicated a vaccine preference when you filled out the questionnaire, that response does not affect when you receive an appointment invitation,” said Bowser. “At the moment, those responses are just being shared with our vaccination program team for data collection.”

Regardless of an individual’s personal preference, DC Health is encouraging those who are eligible for the vaccine to receive any of the available jabs.

Additional reporting by Justin Askenazy. 

Daniella Byck
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.