DC sets COVID-19 vaccination target dates

D.C. officials released target dates for who they hope to get vaccinated against the coronavirus on Monday.

In the week of Jan. 11, they’re aiming to get first shots to residents age 65 and older.

In the week of Jan. 25, it’s specific categories of essential workers, including public safety workers, grocery store workers, and workers in pre-K to 12 educational settings and child care settings.

For the week of Feb. 1, they want to get to residents with chronic medical conditions and other essential workers.

Mayor Muriel Bowser highlighted the progress D.C. has made on vaccine distribution.

“Almost 17,000 people have been vaccinated with their first dose. The District has received just over 40,000 doses, and additional doses become available each week,” Bowser said, adding that D.C. has also started weekly reporting of distribution.

“It’s not fully activated as yet as those numbers represent about 58% of our vaccinators reporting. So, as we begin this process, just bear in mind that it’s getting fully rolled out and those numbers will change,” Bowser said. “And I want you to pay close attention to the word target dates for vaccinations, because this is how we expect these groups to roll out, but this is subject to change both earlier and later.”

D.C. has also launched an online portal for health care workers to schedule their vaccinations.

And though there are two vaccines that have been approved — Pfizer and Moderna — officials said residents should get whichever vaccine becomes available to them first. “Both vaccines require a second dosage,” Bowser said.

For the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose comes three weeks (21 days) after the first dose. For the Moderna vaccine, it’s one month (28 days) after the first dose.

D.C. Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt said a partnership with CVS and Walgreens will “allow for vaccination of residents in long-term care facilities as well as staff of long-term care facilities” after additional doses are received from Virginia and Maryland.

They do not have to schedule their vaccinations through the health care worker portal.

Appointments through that health care worker portal aren’t fully being taken advantage of, Nesbitt said. Last week, 64% of the appointments were still available.

“So, there’s lots of opportunity for health care workers in Phase 1A,” Nesbitt said. “All of those folks that we’re talking about — people who work in acute care hospitals, specialty care hospitals, long-term care facilities — we really want them to be vaccinated through their hospital.”

Nesbitt said people might not be aware of the vaccination opportunities.

“So we could really use a full-court press to get people aware of vaccinate.dc.gov as a way for health care workers in the District of Columbia to schedule appointments and fill up all those slots.”

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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