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  • Tiffani Johnson

March 9, 2021 COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Vaccine

This is a reminder that tomorrow, on Wednesday, March 10, the District’s new vaccination appointment pre-registration system will launch. With this new system, there will be no need to go online or call every week at a specific time to make a vaccination appointment. Instead, you will submit your information to DC Health and we will contact you by email, a phone call, and/or text message when it is time to make your vaccination appointment.

At this time, the order in which you register will not affect the order in which you are selected. While the new pre-registration system will be online by the time the call center opens at 8:00 a.m., there is no benefit to being the first person to register online or through the call center.


A person who registers tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. will be in the same position as a person who registers at 6:30 p.m. Eligible individuals are encouraged to visit the website or call the call center throughout the day to pre-register instead of going online or calling at a specific time.

The website and phone number that eligible individuals will use to pre-register are the same as what individuals have already been using to book appointments:

This week, we are only asking eligible residents and workers to register. Eligible individuals who should pre-register include: DC residents 65 and older; DC residents 18-64 with a qualifying medical condition; and members of an eligible workforce. Find more information about who is currently eligible at coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccine.

With the new pre-registration system, eligible individuals can register online at any time on any day via vaccinate.dc.gov, or register by phone by calling the call center Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is possible that when an individual goes to vaccinate.dc.gov to pre-register, you will temporarily go into a “waiting room.” This feature limits the number of people who can fill out the questionnaire at one time so that the website functions better. If you are placed in the waiting room, there is no need to refresh; after a brief wait, you will be moved to the pre-registration questionnaire.

Just for this week, the first set of invitations to book an appointment will go out on Friday morning. Individuals will have 48 hours to book an appointment once the calls, texts, and/or emails go out.

After the initial launch, the cadence for sending out appointment invitations will be:

  • Thursdays by 10:00 a.m.

  • Sundays by 10:00 a.m.

  • And, only if any appointments still need to be filled, Tuesdays by 10:00 a.m.

Eligible individuals will be selected through a process that randomizes those who have registered, according to the following breakdown:

  • 20% go to DC residents in priority zip codes who are 65 and older

  • 20% go to DC residents in any zip code who are 65 and older

  • 20% go to DC residents in priority zip codes who are 18-64 with a qualifying medical condition

  • 20% go to DC residents in any zip code who 18-64 with a qualifying medical condition

  • 10% go to DC residents in priority zip codes who are members of an eligible workforce who are 18 and older

  • 10% go to members of an eligible workforce who are 18 and older, regardless of home address

This new pre-registration system will reduce the stress involved with making a vaccination appointment and to make it easier for the community to work together to get all eligible residents registered. Our three operating principles for the new registration system are: 1) an equitable distribution of the vaccine; 2) a consistent scheduling cadence so residents know what to expect; and 3) a shared responsibility, across our community, to get people pre-registered.

Mayor Bowser’s charge to the community is to help us get all eligible residents pre-registered in the days to come. Please reach out to eligible individuals, especially seniors, and talk to them about their plans to pre-register and get vaccinated. DC still needs more vaccine, and we will continue to advocate for additional doses so that we can save lives and meet the demand of our community.

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