D.C. Gets Screwed on Vaccine Distribution

See update below.

Or, if you prefer, why D.C. needs two voting senators (boldface mine):

With case numbers rising in the nation’s capital, Bowser (D) sent a letter Thursday to officials overseeing the federal Operation Warp Speed vaccination plan, saying the city would be able to inoculate less than a tenth of its 85,000 health-care workers with the 6,800 doses it expects to receive under the current distribution formula.

By comparison, Maryland expects 300,000 vaccine doses by January, enough to cover about half of its population of health-care workers, officials there said Thursday. Virginia expects about 140,000 doses for its first cohort of recipients, a group that comprises about 500,000 health-care workers and residents of long-term-care facilities.

…Bowser, whose administration has been pushing for more vaccine doses for several weeks, said during a news conference Thursday that about 75 percent of the city’s health-care workers live in Maryland or Virginia.

We allow Maryland and Virginia residents to use our testing sites because we know they work here and their being able to isolate if they have an infection makes us safer,” she said. “We think a vaccination strategy along those lines makes us safer.”

What this means is that of the first 90,000* doses (D.C. has around 5,000 nursing home residents) administered in D.C., give or take, about seventy percent* will be given to out-of-state residents. This will delay getting the vaccine to everyone else in D.C. I’m fine with vaccinating healthcare workers first, but this should come out of other states’ allocations.

And for anyone who’s thinking that hospitals are good for tax revenue, D.C. has ‘reciprocity’ with Maryland and Virginia, meaning that you pay income taxes where you live, not where you work–this costs D.C. north of $800 million per year.

I realize everyone thinks about statehood in terms of political advantage for Democrats, but those of us who live here would be better off with two senators that could raise hell.

*The Washington Post states that D.C. has 59,000 healthcare workers and 25,000 essential workers, which gets you to 85,000 (then add 5,000 nursing home residents). I haven’t been able to determine who is correct, the mayor or the Post.

Update: It appears that Maryland and Virginia on their own are delivering thousands of doses to D.C. A competent response wouldn’t rely on states to figure this out.

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