D.C. residents and essential workers will be able to preregister for COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Wednesday.
Only certain groups are being asked to preregister, and even once you’re preregistered, it could be months until you get an appointment.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that the old portal system that crashed for weeks as people tried to get appointments will no longer be used. Residents and essential workers will go to a new website instead. The system will be open initially to residents 65 and older, people with qualifying medical conditions and essential workers. If you’re not part of one of those groups, don’t sign up yet; that could slow down the system for everyone else, the mayor said.
Once a shot is available for you, you will be sent a link to schedule your appointment. You’ll have 48 hours to sign up and then the link will expire.
The high-capacity vaccination sites will be open on a rotating basis, depending on vaccine allotments from the federal government.
CDC Has New Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Americans
This week marks one year since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. Soon after, schools and businesses closed and people were all told to stay home.
Now, while we are still dealing with a high level of infection, there is hope in sight.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance aimed at clarifying what activities individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccines can and cannot do.
The recommendations say fully vaccinated individuals can visit with others who have also been inoculated, and can do so indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing.
Fully vaccinated people can also visit with "unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing."
The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.
Vaccinations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia
More than 90 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the U.S. and the pace seems to be picking up nearly daily with three vaccines now available.
In our area, changes are being made in some spots to make the vaccination process smoother.
The District’s high-capacity COVID-19 vaccination clinics received rave reviews from many residents who showed up for their one-shot dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The clinic located at the Walter Washington Convention Center was set to provide at least 2,500 people with vaccines on its first day, Saturday. Some said there were no lines and no waiting, and there were even those who said they got their shot early.
“It was a model process. It was easy. It was wide open. It felt very safe and very professional. I’m really grateful to everyone involved,” one woman said.
“They finally got it right!” another woman said.
Health workers will be administering 1,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the mass vaccination site in Woodbridge, Virginia, on Monday.
The Prince William Health District is also launching a new vaccination scheduling system through a program called PrepMod. Health officials say the pre-registration process takes 15 minutes to complete.
Compared to the rest of Northern Virginia, the Prince William Health District vaccination rate per 100,000 people currently ranks last.
Vaccinations at Woodbridge on Monday are by appointment only and will last from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says the state administered more than 50,000 vaccines in a single day for the first time on Sunday, setting a record for the state.
Maryland also surpassed 1.5 million total vaccinations. About 6 million people live in the state.
Nearly half of all Marylanders age 65 and over have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.
Vaccine Hesitancy Persists in Maryland, Poll Finds
Despite the progress being made with the vaccine's rollout throughout our region, some Marylanders are still reluctant to take the coronavirus vaccine, according to a new poll.
A new Goucher College poll found that 36% of Black residents and 31% of white residents said they either planned to wait and see how the vaccine worked before getting it, would only get it if they were required to or had no plans of taking the shot.
Nearly two-thirds of Marylanders surveyed had received at least their first dose of the vaccine or planned to get a shot as soon as it became available to them.
Obesity Linked to COVID-19 Hospitalization Risk, According to CDC Study
A majority of people who have been hospitalized, needed a ventilator or died from COVID-19 have been overweight or obese, according to a CDC study that looked at 238 U.S. hospitals.
Among 148,494 adults who received a COVID-19 diagnosis during an emergency department or inpatient from March to December, 71,491 were hospitalized. Of those who were admitted, 27.8% were overweight and 50.2% were obese, according to the CDC report.
Overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25 or more while obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more.
The agency found the risk for hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths was lowest among individuals with BMIs under 25.
What the Data Shows
D.C. announced another 160 cases of the virus and five lives lost. The seven-day rolling average of new cases increased, as did hospitalizations.
Maryland announced 716 more cases of the virus and the deaths of eight more people. The seven-day average was up slightly. Hospitalizations fell.
Virginia announced 636 more cases of the virus. Thirteen more people died. The seven-day average decreased although new hospitalizations increased slightly.
Vaccination Portals by County
As vaccinations in our region ramp up, here's a look at local portals residents can use to sign up for vaccination appointments or sign up to receive alerts.
- Washington, D.C. signups– vaccinate.dc.gov
- Maryland signups – www.marylandvax.org/ and covidvax.maryland.gov
- Virginia information – www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/
- Montgomery County – www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/
- Prince George's County – www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/3730/COVID-19-Vaccination
- Howard County – www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Health/MM-Alerts-and-Recalls/COVID-19-Vaccine
- Anne Arundel County – aahealth.org/covid-19-vaccine-faq/
- Fairfax County – www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/vaccine
- City of Alexandria – www.alexandriava.gov/health/info/default.aspx?id=119270
- Loudoun County – www.loudoun.gov/covid19vaccine
- Prince William County – coronavirus.pwcgov.org/vaccine-information/ & VDH
Local Coronavirus Headlines
- In the next few weeks, many more Virginians will be heading to pharmacies for their shots. But there's still one problem — not all the pharmacies can coordinate with the state's vaccine waiting list.
- D.C. expanded vaccine eligibility, meaning residents over 65, working essential jobs or with certain chronic conditions can try to book appointments. But many residents were stopped from registering by technical problems.
- D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser lost her only sister and oldest sibling to COVID-19.
- More than 1,000 Washington, D.C., residents have now died of COVID-19.
- NBC News is making finding information on when, how and where to obtain your coronavirus vaccination easier with its Plan Your Vaccine website.
- Medical schools across the country report a spike in applications, especially from students of color. At Georgetown University’s medical school, applications are up 24% overall and 40% from underrepresented minorities. The University of Maryland along with Howard University have also seen a rising number of applicants.
- Many D.C. restaurant workers who already were coping with the safety hazards and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic also are facing increased sexual harassment, a report from a labor organization says.
- Face masks are required in all National Park Service buildings, and on land maintained by the Park Service when physical distancing is not possible, federal officials have said.
- Virginia dropped its curfew and relaxed some other COVID-19 restrictions, including on outdoor gatherings, as of March 1.
- Thousands of students returned to classrooms as schools reopened Feb. 16 in Frederick County, Maryland, and in Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia.0
- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam directed all schools to offer in-person classes by March 15, saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other leaders say it's possible to reopen safely.
- The Fairfax County School Board voted unanimously to bring all students back in-person for hybrid learning by March 16.
- D.C. lifted its ban on indoor dining, but libraries and recreation centers are still closed.
- Bars and restaurants in Maryland can remain open past 10 p.m starting Feb. 1. Restaurants will still have to operate at no more than 50% indoor capacity.
- All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo remain closed due to COVID-19.
How to Stay Safe
Anyone can get COVID-19. Here are three simple ways the CDC says you can lower your risk:
- Wear a snug-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth.
- Avoid being indoors with people who are not members of your household. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19. If you are indoors with people you don’t live with, stay at least six feet apart and keep your mask on.
- Wash your hands often, especially after you have been in a public place.