D.C. officials highlighted the city’s coronavirus vaccination program Thursday by publicly inoculating front-line first responders and health care workers at Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center.
Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the D.C. Department of Health, was the first to receive the shot, followed by six others including a nurse, two doctors and members of the Fire and EMS Department.
Before being vaccinated, Fire and EMS Chief John Donnelly said he wanted his public inoculation to show people that the vaccine is safe.
“I believe in the vaccine, and that’s why I’m getting it today,” Chief Donnelly said. “This is a great first step toward our recovery.”
Six health facilities received the city’s initial allotment of 6,825 doses of drugmaker Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine earlier this week.
The federal government is sending 4,875 more doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week, according to Dr. Nesbitt.
Additionally, the first round of the two-dose vaccine from biotech firm Moderna could arrive in the city by next week, if the Food and Drug Administration grants emergency use authorization.
Both Virginia and Maryland are sending 8,000 doses to the District to help vaccinate the more than 85,000 health care workers and first responders who work in the city but do not live in it.
The shots from Virginia could arrive as early as next week and shots from Maryland may come the following week, Dr. Nesbitt said.
The vaccine will be distributed in the District in three phases, beginning with health care workers and first responders in Phase 1A. The next group, Phase 1B, includes essential workers and at-risk residents. The second phase includes the rest of Phase 1 populations and the general public, and Phase 3 includes the general public.