COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

January 19, 2021

Looking for the latest COVID-19 resources and information? Explore Iona’s COVID-19 Resource Library.

Last Updated: February 25, 2021

District of Columbia residents aged 65 and older are now eligible to register for the COVID-19 vaccine In addition, residents ages 18-64 who have a qualifying medical condition may register for an appointment. (A comprehensive list of conditions can be found at, but examples include asthma, COPD, cancer, kidney and heart disease, diabetes, immunocompromised states, intellectual and developmental disabilities, obesity, sickle cell disease, and more.)

New appointments are released on Thursdays at 9:00 AM to eligible residents in priority zip codes (Wards 5, 7, and 8) and Fridays at 9:00 AM for all DC zip codes.

Because of high demand, appointments fill up quickly, usually within a few hours of being made available. More appointment slots are offered as DC receives them from the federal government.  

Please note: Iona is NOT a vaccination site.  

How to register for a vaccine appointment 

  • Visit
  • DC metro residents (age 65+) who need help signing up for the vaccine or vaccine notifications online can get volunteer help through a partnership of the DC JCC and George Washington University Hillel. Request help:
  • Call the District’s call center at 855-363-0333 (Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM-7:00 PM; Saturdays from 8:00 AM-4:00 PM) 
  • Call United Medical Center at 202-574-6473 between 7:30 AM-6:30 PM.
  • Select hospitals and health centers are allowing patients who have been seen within the last two years to make appointments. View the list here. 
  • Career military retirees and active military (age 75+) are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine via their closest military hospital or clinic.
  • The Washington DC VA Medical Center is offering the vaccine for veterans. Call 202-745-4342 to make an appointment.

The vaccine is free to all individuals, regardless of whether you have health- insurance. If you do have health insurance, there is no copay.  

Sign up for text message or email alerts when new appointments are available 

Tips for making a vaccine appointment online 

  • Review this helpful Vaccination Appointment Guide from the District of Columbia.
  • If you have trouble using the vaccine registration website, call the District’s call center at 855-363-0333 (Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM-7:00 PM; Saturdays from 8:00 AM-4:00 PM). Please be aware that wait times may be long, and appointments may be filled up before you are able to speak with a representative.  
  • The registration process can be frustrating, and it may take several weeks before you are able to get an appointment. Don’t give up hope! 

Transportation for vaccine appointments

The District’s Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) cover all transportation (free of charge), to and from, all medically necessary covered services and appointments. To request transportation, the Enrollee should call the following number to schedule the service:

  • AmeriHealth 1-800-315-3485 (rides available Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM)
  • CareFirst 1-855-824-5693 (rides available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • MedStar Health 1-866-201-9974
  • MetroAccess 301-562-5360

Tips for the day of your vaccine appointment 

  • Wear a mask. 
  • Bring your photo ID, confirmation code, and health insurance card. 
  • Wear a loose-fitting shirt. 
  • Expect to stay 1530 minutes after your vaccination for observation.  
  • Arrive at your designated appointment time to reduce wait time and exposure to others. 

After you receive the vaccine 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created a cell phone app called the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker. (A smartphone is required.) This app allows you to tell the CDC if you experience any side effects after receiving the vaccine. The healthcare professional who gives you your vaccine will give you instructions for how to download the app.  
  • A second dose of the vaccine will be required three or four weeks after your first vaccination depending on which COVID-19 vaccine you receive.  

Get more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, ways to stay safe, and how to get help from Iona’s COVID-19 Resource Library.  

By Lauren Stephenson