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Updated March 1, 2021

Northwest Neighbors Village is pleased to pass along new information we have learned about vaccine availability and updates to DC Health’s Coronavirus website.  Changes to the distribution plan are developing very quickly. Please know we share all the information we have available to us. It is unlikely that we will have more information to share.

We value your feedback and experiences and use it to help others. Please continue to update us on your successes or challenges at info@nnvdc.org.

Please remember, even if you have gotten both doses of the vaccine, the CDC advises the public to continue to wear a mask in public spaces, wash your hands, and practice safe social distancing.

  Vaccine Information through DC Health

To register for the vaccine visit vaccinate.dc.gov or call 1-855-363-0333.  DC Health allocates a specific number of appointments for both online and telephone registration each week.  Sign up for alerts from DC Health to receive timely updates on vaccine registration and availability.  

Appointment registration is available on Thursdays and Fridays. Vaccination appointments will become available on an alternating weekly schedule, with appointments becoming available at 6 pm on Thursdays and Fridays one week, and at 9 am on Thursdays and Fridays the following week. To find out what time appointments will become available, visit coronavirus.dc.gov or sign up for alerts from DC Health:   

  • Thursday - Priority Zip Codes Registration - Prioritized zip codes are determined based on vaccination rate data and may change week to week
  • Friday - Registration for all DC residents in the current phase of distribution

If you previously attempted to get an appointment and you did not receive a notification with a confirmation code, date and location, you must re-register. 

For the best experience, please use a current web browser such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari (Mac). Internet Explorer will not work. Your computer should also be using one of the following operating systems:

  • PCs: Windows 7, 8.1, 10 and above
  • Macs: iOS Leopard and above (Version 11)

People who are now eligible to register for a vaccination from DC:

This means, many more DC employees are now eligible to receive the vaccine based on the work they perform, including employees, contractors,  and volunteers who currently perform direct, in-person health or social services to residents in vulnerable, at-risk or special populations.

What to expect in the event of inclement weather:
 
In the event vaccination clinics are closed due to inclement weather, DC Health will reach out to individuals with an appointment and make accommodations. At this time, DC Health is unable to reschedule appointments for individuals who are not comfortable making it to their appointment due to inclement weather. To cancel an appointment, please refer to your vaccine appointment confirmation email.   
 
If you sign up for Alert DC, you can receive weather and traffic alerts from the city including vaccine site closures. Sign up for Alert DC here. You can also view current alerts without signing up by clicking here.

  Tips from your neighbors

We have collected the following tips from people who have gone through the process. Please let us know if you have any other hot tips to add!

Registration:

  • Prepare in advance - Become familiar with the questions on the website and have the answers ready before you log on. You can download the step-by-step Vaccination Appointment Guide here
  • Email address - People who call in to get an appointment must still supply an email address to receive appointment confirmation. If you do not have a personal email address, plan to have handy the email address of someone you can trust who can provide a printed copy of the email to bring to the appointment.
  • Log on a few minutes early - Visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc a few minutes before 9:00 am.
  • Refresh - Hit the refresh button on the website at exactly 9:00 am.
  • Fields - Only fields with an asterisk (*) are required fields. Skipping questions without an asterisk can save time.
  • Choosing a location - Once you enter your information, you will see a list of available sites and the distance of those sites from your location. Choose your desired site and you will see the available appointments. Thanks to our partners at DC Villages, we have some anecdotal information to share about the experiences people have had at some of the vaccination sites. Click here to learn more.
  • If you select a location and there are no more appointments available, simply use the back arrow in your browser and select another location.  Keep doing this until you find a location with available appointments.
  • Couples - Couples cannot register together. You must register one individual and then start the process over again for the second person.
  • Confirmation - Once registered, you will get a confirmation email if registering online. Please print out this email for future reference. You will need it for your appointment.

Vaccination Site Information:

Thanks to our partners at DC Villages, we have some anecdotal information to share about the experiences people have had at some of the vaccination sites.  Click here to learn more.

Please note: DC Health has recently contracted with new providers, including Harris Teeter and Walmart. If you have recently visited a vaccination site not currently listed, please let us know your experience so we can keep the list up to date and help others.

What to do before you get your vaccine:  

  • On the day of your appointment, wear a shirt that allows for easy access to your arm. 
  • Wait times vary by site.  Some people have reported long lines outside. Dress for the weather and consider bringing either a folding chair or someone who can stand on line on your behalf.  
  • Reported side effects from the vaccine vary from slightly from sore arms to flu-like symptoms for a day or so. As a precaution, stock up on easy to prepare meals before your vaccine appointment and ask a loved one or NNV volunteer to check on you for a few days after you’ve received your first and second doses. Report any concerns to your medical provider.

Learn more about what to expect after getting the COVID shot here.

Second Dose Information:

According to DC Health, the appointment for your second dose will be confirmed at the pharmacy or provider location where you received your initial dose.  Before leaving your appointment, you will also be provided your vaccine record.

However, if your appointment was with Safeway, Safeway will provide instructions on how to schedule your second dose.  Safeway is providing the vaccine at three wellness sites – Lamond, Model Cities and Washington Wellness Center. If you have received your first vaccination at any of these locations, you will be provided a piece of paper with instructions on how to schedule your next appointment online, in addition to your vaccine record. Here are a few tips we’ve learned:

  • Third Party Website – Your second appointment will be made through a different website than your first. You’ll be directed to an Albertson’s website (Safeway is part of Albertson’s). Don’t be alarmed by this.
  • Three Locations – Each location, Lamond, Model Cities, and Washington Senior Wellness Center, have a different website to register for the second appointment. Be sure to double check the address for your second appointment to be sure you show up to the right location for your second dose.
  • Four Steps – There are a series of four steps to complete in order to schedule the appointment. Have your vaccine record handy, as you will be asked to provide the date of your first dose and the vaccine type (Pfizer or Moderna). You will also need to provide your contact information and confirm your preferred method of contact (text or email).
  • Not Tech Savvy? – Please mention this to the provider when you receive your first dose. They can provide guidance on how to schedule your second dose if you do not have a computer or don’t know how to register online. Note: Village volunteers are available to assist NNV members with scheduling your second appointment. To arrange volunteer support, please call the NNV office at 202-935-6060 or email info@nnvdc.org.

Reported side effects from the vaccine vary from slightly sore arms to flu-like symptoms for a day or so. As a precaution, stock up on easy to prepare meals before you receive your second dose appointment and ask a loved one or Northwest Neighbors Village volunteer to check on you for a few days after you’ve received your second dose. Doctors have suggested Tylenol to combat post-second shot discomfort. Check with your medical provider to see if this is right for you. 

Stay up-to-date!

  • Mayor’s Situational Update - Weekly update on important information impacting DC residents, including details about vaccine doses and distribution in DC 
  • DC Councilmembers share useful updates about COVID-19, the vaccine rollout and other information important to DC seniors.  We encourage you to sign up to receive updates from:
    • Councilmember Anita Bonds - DC At-Large Councilmember (Councilmember Bonds' website is currently under construction - we will add the link when it is available)
    • Councilmember ChehWard 3 Councilmember
    • Councilmember Lewis George – Ward 4 Councilmember

  Other Appointment Options

District hospitals have started outreach to schedule their patient population of DC residents 65 years and older.  Please visit the hospital website where you are a patient (seen by the hospital in an outpatient clinic within the last two years) for instructions on how to register for an available appointment. Like the District’s COVID-19 vaccination scheduling portal, hospital appointments are limited.  

Schedule a Hospital Appointment

Schedule a Health Center Appointment

District Health centers are also scheduling their patient population of DC residents 65 years and older. If you are a patient at one of the following health centers, please contact them to see if there is any schedule availability for appointments. Of note, allocations of vaccine are very limited.

Vaccine Registration Assistance

If you are having trouble getting registered for the vaccine, the EDCJCC has launched a partnership with the wonderful students at George Washington University Hillel to help older adults in DC, Virginia and Maryland get enrolled for vaccinations. 

 

  FAQ’s about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Do I still need to wear a mask and socially distance after getting the vaccine?
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

If I’ve already had COVID-19, do I need to be vaccinated?
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?
No.  COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.

When should I get my second vaccine shot?
The currently authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States require 2 shots to get the most protection:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart
  • Moderna doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart

You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

After I’m vaccinated, when do I get immunity and when can I travel?
Hear Dr. Fauci’s answer on CNN’s Global Town Hall by clicking here.

Northwest Neighbors Village   P.O. Box 39135   Washington, DC 20016
(202) 935-6060   info@nnvdc.org