The District encourages everyone over 16 to preregister for the vaccine.
Like Christmas come early, the District has opened COVID-19 vaccine access to anyone over 16 a week ahead of schedule. However, just because it's available to anyone doesn't mean it's a total free-for-all. Similar to the way it was handled for higher-risk groups, those who wish to receive the vaccine will still have to preregister on the District's website, according to NBC4 Washington. "When an appointment becomes available," they reported on Monday, "you'll receive an email."
NPR reported DC Health has "offered every D.C. resident who is a senior, essential worker, or resident with a qualifying medical condition who had pre-registered for the coronavirus vaccine an appointment—and there were enough appointments left that they were able to begin offering them to residents who were 16 and older and did not qualify for priority status through their job or medical condition."
According to the District's website (taken directly from the site):
"To pre-register for your vaccination appointment, go to vaccinate.dc.gov or call the COVID-19 Call Center at 1-855-363-0333. For deaf/hard-of-hearing individuals, dial 711 for TTY service. Eligible DC residents are also reminded of other ways to make an appointment, including:
- Directly through their health care provider.
- Veterans and veteran spouses can get vaccinated through the VA Medical Center and can learn more by calling (202) 745-4342.
- DC residents 65 and older, teachers and school staff, child care workers, and health care workers can book appointments through the CVS site (when appointments are available)."
Once you're pre-registered, invitations are sent each week on Thursdays by 10 a.m., Sundays by 10 a.m., and Tuesdays by 10 a.m. if there are any appointments still not filled. The selection process is randomized each time, with priority given to "areas where residents have been disproportionately burdened by COVID-19 and areas that are lagging in COVID-19 vaccination coverage."
On April 7, the District stated that "Mayor Bowser’s three operating principles for the preregistration 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."
If you haven't preregistered for the vaccine yet, now's your chance. While the appointment invitations are randomized, everyone will receive them.
Have you had the vaccine yet? What has your experience been? Let us know in the comments.