Fact Check: All Washington, D.C. Residents Can NOT Now Register to Receive The COVID-19 Vaccine

Fact Check

  • by: Olivera Perkins
Fact Check: All Washington, D.C. Residents Can NOT Now Register to Receive The COVID-19 Vaccine Only Phase 1

Can all Washington, D.C. residents now register to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine? No, that's not true: Washington, D.C. is in Phase 1A of its vaccination program, where priority is given to health care workers, including those in acute care and specialty care hospitals and those working in long-term care facilities. Priority is also given to residents in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities and to longer-term psychiatry inpatients. The D.C. plan follows recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for prioritizing who gets vaccinated first when the vaccine supply is limited.

The claim appeared in an Instagram post (archived here) published December 29, 2020, which opened:

If you're a DC resident you can now register to receive the #COVID19 vaccine.

This is what the post look like at the time of writing:

Even if the post is a well-intentioned effort, aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, it misses the mark. For example, the website provided, vaccinate.dc.gov, is very clear about who now qualifies to be vaccinated:

Please Note: This system is currently open only for healthcare providers. You MUST provide verification of your eligibility at the time of your vaccination.

Detailed information about Washington, D.C.'s coronavirus vaccination program may be found at coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccine. This includes The "Updated Phase 1 COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Guidance," revised December 28, 2020, which includes the timeline for Phase 1A:

  • Week of Dec 14th: Access to Acute Care and Specialty Care Hospital Network, DC Fire & EMS, and Front-Line Public Health

  • Week of Dec 21st: Launch of Long-Term Care Partnership and access to Intermediate Care workforce, Home Health Aides, Urgent Care workforce, FQHC workforce, and pharmacy workforceWeek of Dec 28th: Access to all other healthcare workers in Phase 1a including those in outpatient and ancillary care settings.

The prioritization guidance also includes those who will qualify in Phase 1B, which "will begin once the majority of Phase 1A has been vaccinated and/or demand decreases":

  • Law enforcement, public safety, school teachers and staff, childcare providers, grocery store workers, community outreach workers, correction workers, public transit workers, manufacturing, U.S. Postal Service workers, and those in agriculture; and

  • District of Columbia residents who are 75 years and older and District of Columbia residents in Intermediate Care Facilities, Group Homes, or other higher risk congregate settings.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Olivera Perkins

Olivera Perkins is a veteran journalist and fact checker at Lead Stories, who has covered a variety of beats, including labor, employment and workforce issues for several years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Olivera has received state and national awards for her coverage, including those from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW). She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Read more about or contact Olivera Perkins

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