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VERIFY: In the DMV, can you live in one jurisdiction and get vaccinated in another?

'Vaccine tourism' has become an unpopular fad as doses remain limited nationally. But in D.C., Maryland or Virginia, are you allowed to cross the line to get a shot?


In the D.C. metro region, can you live in one jurisdiction and get vaccinated in another?


Yes, as long as you are eligible to get a vaccine because of your occupation, you can get a vaccine in the region where you work.



"When can I get a vaccine?" That's the question most commonly found in the Verify team's inbox, with "Where can I get a vaccine?" the second most-asked question.

Living in the D.C. metro region presents some unique scenarios: maybe you live in D.C. but work in Maryland, or you're from Virginia, but have a job in the city.

It's a frustrating dilemma shared by thousands in the DMV, looking for answers.

So we're verifying: in the DMV can you live in one jurisdiction and get vaccinated in another?

Our sources are the health departments in all three areas: D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

First, if you want to know where your local government currently stands for distribution, click here for what phase Maryland is, here for Virginia, and here for DC.

And according to a joint statement issued on January 25, 2020 and put out by all three jurisdictions, the answer is yes. You can state hop, but only if you work there. (The joint statement can be found on page 7 of this bulletin under "Residency and Priority Group Eligibility Determinations")

RELATED: How to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in DC, Maryland and Virginia

“Individuals who are currently eligible for vaccination based on their occupations should first check with their employers to see if vaccination arrangements have already been made," the statement reads in part. "If not, they should contact the local health department in the localities where they work. These individuals are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 based on where they work.”

Meanwhile, this is not the case for people who are eligible because they’re 65 or older or have a high-risk medical condition. They should contact the health department where they live, according to the joint statement.

Our Verify researchers also followed up with individual health departments.

"Yes, health care workers, Fire and Emergency Services workers, public safety workers, teachers, etc. (see Vaccine Program Phases with Tiers) who reside outside of DC, but work in the District may get vaccinated in the District," a spokesperson for DC Health said.  "All individuals should be able to show some verification that they meet criteria they attested to on registration."

Some jurisdictions even allow you to pre-register to get notified about when it's your turn. 

As of Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Health launched a new website where individuals can pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine and check if they are already pre-registered. Those who were already pre-registered through their local health department should already be imported into the new state-wide system. 

VDH also launched a new vaccine hotline: 1-877-VAX-IN-VA. (877-829-4682)

So bottom line: Yes, in the DMV you can cross the line to get a vaccine, but that really only applies if you work there.