The first five DC residents will receive the coronavirus vaccination during a “kick-off event” later on Monday, December 14.
These past few weeks have seen an alarming uptick in coronavirus cases throughout the region. The Smithsonian closed its doors once again earlier this month and Mayor Bowser only recently announced the lowering of indoor dining capacity from 50% to 25%. But a glimmer of hope peeked through today with the arrival of the first batch of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines in the District.
Earlier today the first U.S. citizen received her first dose of the vaccine in NYC launching the nationwide vaccination campaign and the Nation’s Capital isn’t far behind. Washington DC will launch its vaccination campaign on Monday afternoon, December 4, with the vaccination of the first five DC health workers. The event will take place at George Washington University Hospital and will launch at 2:30 p.m. with a press conference from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, before the staffers receive their first shot of the vaccine.
“This is the kickoff of a series of events you will see from public health officials that are designed to highlight confidence both in the vaccine and in the process America has to distribute the vaccine,” Azar told the Washington Post.
Azar also told the Post he would not be receiving a shot himself, but that he plans to do so at some point to help advance public acceptance of the vaccine. As for those selected to receive the first five vaccines, they’re members of DC’s Fire Department.
Mayor Bowser announced the name of the “First Five Responders” during a press conference late on Sunday, December 13. These will be acting D.C. Fire Chief John Donnelly, the department’s medical director, and three lieutenants.
DC is expected to initially receive 6,825 doses. While less than 7,000 are certainly not enough, Mayor Bowser already reached out to federal officials warning them to allocate vaccines based on where health workers worked rather than lived.
“The proposed one-size-fits-all formula for distribution to states based [upon] residential population will prove woefully insufficient for the District of Columbia, providing less than 10% of the doses D.C. would need,” the Mayor wrote.
Meanwhile, Bowser also sent out a newsletter over the weekend encouraging Washingtonians to get vaccinated.
“The next few weeks and months will be critical. A successful vaccination implementation will finally bring an end to this crisis. It will save lives. And when Washingtonians are vaccinated, we can finally come back together.”
The more than 6,000 doses will be distributed across six healthcare organizations including George Washington University Hospital, Howard University Hospital, Children’s National Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Medical company Kaiser Permanente is also expecting to receive a new batch of doses on Wednesday, December 16, and will promptly begin to administer the vaccine to the FEMS members, according to a press release.
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