D.C. launched its new coronavirus vaccine preregistration website Wednesday, following several technical glitches over the past few weeks that frustrated residents trying to sign up.
Eligible residents can now preregister using the new system — powered by tech giant Microsoft — at vaccinate.dc.gov, or they can call 855-363-0333. When they have received an invitation to make an appointment, they will then have 48 hours to book it.
According to a news release from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office, 48,513 individuals had already preregistered for a vaccination appointment by noon.
And she wants more residents to register.
“Today, Mayor Bowser is calling on Washingtonians to help get all eligible individuals preregistered for a vaccination appointment,” the release reads. “At this time, the order in which individuals register will not affect the order in which they are selected; a person who registered today at 8:30 a.m. will be in the same position as a person who registers at 6:30 p.m.”
The release also broke down more details on timing and distribution.
After the initial launch, appointment invitations will be sent out:
- Thursdays by 10 a.m.
- Sundays by 10 a.m.
- And, only if any appointments still need to be filled, Tuesdays by 10 a.m.
Eligible individuals who register by 11:59 p.m. the night before invitations go out will be part of the randomized selection process.
Eligible individuals will be selected through a process that randomizes those who have registered, according to the following breakdown:
- 20% go to D.C. residents in priority ZIP codes who are 65 and older
- 20% go to D.C. residents in any ZIP code who are 65 and older
- 20% go to D.C. residents in priority ZIP codes who are 18-64 with a qualifying medical condition
- 20% go to D.C. residents in any ZIP code who 18-64 with a qualifying medical condition
- 10% go to D.C. 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
Priority ZIP codes for this week have been adjusted. ZIP code 20001 is no longer considered a priority code and 20003 is being added. The current list of priority ZIP codes includes: 20422, 20011, 20017, 20018, 20002, 20003, 20019, 20020, 20032, 20593.
The wait from preregistering to getting a shot in the arm remains the same.
Bowser said Monday that there could be a considerable delay between preregistering and getting a vaccine shot.
“You will wait to get a call, text or email — your choice — telling you that it’s time to make a vaccination appointment. This could take days, it could take weeks, and it can even take months, depending on your risk factor and eligibility,” she said.
She also warned that while residents should feel confident in the new preregistration system, a rush of people trying to access the website could still cause problems.
Residents age 16 or 17 with a qualifying medical condition can register for a vaccine waiting list through Children’s National Hospital in a separate online form. No vaccine has been authorized yet for children under 16.
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