A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by Darrow Montgomery.

The weekend was one of the most violent the District has seen in a while—and that’s saying a lot. D.C. police responded to calls about more than 12 shootings, half of which happened within a five-hour span on Friday. More than six people died due to these gun-related incidents. WTOP created a map of the shootings

The surge of violence came on the same weekend that the Cancel Rent Coalition of D.C. hosted a “Night of Prayer” in part for those who have lost loved ones due to gun violence. The event, which took place at Anacostia Avenue and Benning Road NE Sunday evening, gathered residents and community leaders at the intersection of mourning and awareness over COVID-19 and shooting deaths. 

Kids and Parents Celebrate Getting Their Shot

On the first weekend since the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, District families celebrated by heading to COVID vaccine clinics. Lines snaked around D.C. Health sites with parents and their newly eligible kids, some of whom were awake since sunrise to make it before vaccines ran out for the day, the Washington Post reports. Young children who had already gotten the shot enjoyed playgrounds and soccer games in ways they hadn’t since the start of the pandemic. 

Some celebrations were more immediate: Yesterday the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center held a vaccine party featuring hula hoops, cake pops, and live music for kids getting their shot, Chelsea Cirruzzo of Axios D.C. reports. The free vaccine party at the clinic had a waiting list for days before the event. 

But it’s not all fun and hula hoops for the children’s vaccine. As City Paper has noted, Jennifer Kates, director of global health at Kaiser, held concerns before the rollout that COVID vaccination disparities—well known among adults along racial and ethnic lines—would play out among kids 5 to 11 as well. Alvin Richburg, who waited in line both Friday and Saturday to get a vaccine for his 5-year-old daughter, spoke to this disparity. Richburg told the Post that he got the impression that residents outside Ward 8, not those from the community, were getting vaccine doses at the vaccine clinic at Fort Stanton Recreation Center.

“They didn’t do this the right way … You started in Ward 8, but you didn’t serve Ward 8,” he said. 

Good News to Come for Commuters?

An infrastructure bill passed by Congress late Friday isn’t solely a win for Joe Biden’s administration after a major Democrat loss in last week’s race for Virginia governor; it could help bring better commutes to the District. As much as some Democrat critics argue the bill’s timing could have prevented the loss, the bill means good news for public projects nationwide. In the District, the spending plan translates to $150 million a year through 2030 for WMATA, which has been giving D.C. residents Metro woes for weeks. Delays in train service are slated to continue through the end of the month: 15-minute wait times for the Red Line, 20 minutes for the Green Line, and 30 minutes for Orange, Blue, Yellow and Silver lines.

Commute times on D.C. roads have also worsened in the past decade, an issue the spending could alleviate, WUSA9 reports. The District earned a C- grade on the federal government’s report card on infrastructure earlier this year for eight bridges and 402 miles of highway in poor condition, which have exacerbated commutes, according to the report. 

Ambar Castillo (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
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By Ambar Castillo and Bailey Vogt (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com and bvogt@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • “Is the DC arts commission battle about race or the hustle?” Jonetta Rose Barras asks. [DC Line]
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