The District may be having a hard time in the face of limited supply and massive demand for COVID-19 vaccination, but it is not impossible to get a shot if you are eligible and know how to make an appointment.
First, you need to check your eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine; seeing if you are a member of the following populations in DC:
- Individuals who work in health care settings
- Members of the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department
- Residents of long-term and intermediate care facilities and residents of community residential facilities/group homes
- DC residents who are 65 years old and older
- People experiencing homelessness
- Members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Continuity of District Government personnel and
- Department of Corrections employees and residents
- Teachers and staff who are, or will be, working in person at a traditional or public charter school
- Child care workers and teachers and staff at independent schools in DC
- Individuals who work in a grocery store setting; health and human services and social services outreach workers
- Individuals who work in manufacturing
- Individuals who work in food packaging
- Individuals with certain medical conditions (asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic lung disease; bone marrow and solid organ transplantation; cancer; cerebrovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; congenital heart disease; diabetes mellitus; heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; HIV; hypertension; immunocompromised state; inherited metabolic disorders; intellectual and developmental disabilities; liver disease; neurologic conditions; obesity, BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2; pregnancy; severe genetic disorders; sickle cell disease, and thalassemia.)
After you confirm that you are eligible, you can proceed to the next step, which is scheduling an appointment.
DC Health opens vaccination appointments on an alternating weekly schedule. Appointments become available at 6 pm on Thursdays and Fridays one week, and at 9 am on Thursdays and Fridays the following week, according to the DC Mayor’s Office.
Health care staff, grocery store workers, residents aged 65 and older, and those who work in manufacturing may visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc and click the “Schedule an Appointment” button at the bottom of the page.
It will take you to the vaccination registration portal if there are appointments available at that time. If not, there will be a button that reads “No Appointments Currently Available.” Below that, you will see the text “Sign up to get vaccine updates here,” which you can click to be notified when new appointments are released.
Other eligible individuals need to look at the explanations that apply to them on vaccinate.dc.gov.
Patients of District hospitals who are 65 years and older are also able to schedule an appointment at their hospital or health center through the website of that facility. The patient must have been seen by the hospital in an outpatient clinic within the last two years.
Here are the hospitals and health centers where you can book an appointment:
- Howard University Hospital
- MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
- MedStar Washington Hospital Center
- The George Washington University Hospital
- Sibley Memorial Hospital
- United Medical Center
- Kaiser Permanente
- Mary’s Center — please visit website or call 844-796-2797
- Community of Hope — please call (202) 540-9857
- Unity (Upper Cardoza) — please visit eCW portal, website, or call (202) 469-4699
- Unity (Brentwood) — please visit eCW portal, website, or call (202) 469-4699
- Bread for the City — please call (202) 386-7020
- La Clinica del Pueblo — please visit website
- Elaine Ellis Center of Health — please call (202) 803-2340
- Whitman-Walker Health — please visit website
- Family and Medical Counseling Service, Inc — please call (202) 889-7900
- Providence Health System — please visit website
For detailed instructions on how to register and book an appointment, you can read through the Vaccination Appointment Guide or call 855-363-0333.
If you need transportation services, the District’s Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) provide this service for free to and from, all medically necessary covered services and appointments. To request transportation, you can call the following numbers:
- AmeriHealth Caritas DC | Call 1-800-315-3485. Rides available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- CareFirst Community Health Plan DC | Call MTM1 at 1-855-824-5693. Rides available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Health Services for Children with Special Needs | Call SET Transportation at 1-866-991-5433
- MedStar Family Choice DC | Call 1-866-201-9974
“Currently demand for the vaccine in DC is much higher than the supply we are receiving from federal government,” DC Health says on the vaccine registration page. “Mayor Bowser and DC Health continue to advocate for the federal government to send more vaccine so that we can meet the high demand for it and protect the lives of our residents and our workforce.”