DC, Northern Virginia see dash to get coronavirus vaccine

Virginia and D.C. moved into a new phase in their coronavirus vaccine plan Monday. Now, there is a mad rush to get the shot.

If you are 65 and older in D.C. or 75 and older in Virginia, you can get the coronavirus vaccine. The Commonwealth’s Phase 1b also includes essential workers.

“We had a very high-call volume when we opened up [Monday] to that group,” Fairfax County spokesman Jeremy Lasich said.

Lasich said the first day-and-a-half saw thousands of online applications filed and thousands of seniors calling to schedule an appointment.

When WTOP called the vaccine appointment line Tuesday afternoon, the automated message said they were experiencing an extremely high-call volume before saying to call back later as it hung up.

Because of limited staff, Lasich suggested residents of Fairfax County head to the county’s website and fill out the pre-screening. The health department will then reach out within a couple of days to schedule the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

If you do not have internet access, call the hotline at 703-324-7404 from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lasich said he was encouraged by the response to the first several days of the vaccine opening to older Virginians.

“They are eager to get their vaccine, which is good,” he said. “We fully support that. We want everybody to get vaccinated to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as quickly as possible.”

Fairfax County is currently getting 5,000 to 12,000 doses per week of vaccine

As of Tuesday afternoon, Lasich said the county was still making appointments for residents to receive the vaccine that week. But other jurisdictions stopped making appointments entirely.

Loudoun County had a voice message when calling their scheduling hotline that said they are no longer accepting appointments this week.

D.C. also announced that the 6,700 appointments that were available for this week had already been booked before noon on Tuesday.

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.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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