The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine is under way, and while we got more information this week on when certain priority groups can line up for their shots, there remain a lot of questions. This is the best information that we have at this time, but expect many changes.
As of Monday, January 4th, Mayor Bowser reported that the District had received 40,000 doses and almost 17,000 people had been vaccinated. More doses of the vaccine will be rolling in every week and there are to be weekly distribution updates.
When can I get my shot?
We’ve been in the Phase 1 rollout, with frontline healthcare workers and first responders (around 85,000 people) the first in line. They are in the 1a group.
Many healthcare workers are getting their vaccines at their place of work. Those not affiliated with one of those institutions can sign up here for a vaccination.
There’s a place where people not in the 1a group can sign up too – for an email or text message alert when the registry opens to other populations. That link is here.
The vaccinate.dc.gov registration portal opens up to the 1b group during the week of January 11th. Those are residents ages 65 years and older. The week of January 25th, registration opens for essential workers including public safety workers, grocery store workers, and school and childcare workers. And the week of February 1st, other essential workers and residents with chronic medical conditions can sign up for appointments.
Phone registration opens on January 11th as well, for residents that might have difficult with a web portal or need translation assistance. Call the District’s coronavirus call center at 855-363-0333.
Where will I get my shot?
So far the answer appears to be mostly Safeway and Giant pharmacies, and a few community health centers. The District is listing vaccination centers at vaccinateqa.dc.gov. When I entered my address, only one appeared in Ward 3: the Chevy Chase Safeway at 5545 Connecticut Avenue.
A few shoppers and store employees have already received their shots because pharmacies had extra doses left over after inoculating healthcare workers, and they don’t keep overnight. Most of us will have to wait our turn.
There is still no information on a schedule nor prioritizing within the 1b subgroups. And there are thousands of vaccinations to get through before vaccines reach the rest of the population.
According to DC’s vaccination plan, the 1b group includes nearly 311,000 people. The largest segment is adults ages 19 to 64 with health conditions that put them at greater risk should they contract the virus – at 163,000.
There are almost 85,000 thousand people in the 65 and older group. (CDC guidelines recommends prioritizing those ages 75 and older.)
There are around 17,000 essential personnel in critical infrastructure, law enforcement and corrections, and more than 36,000 school teachers and staff, childcare staff, grocery store employees. And while they are not mentioned in the slide above, residents in DC’s corrections system, nursing homes, transitional housing and experiencing homelessness are in the 1b group as well. That’s another 9,000 vaccinations.