That compares with 75 percent of eligible workers and 78 percent of residents with medical conditions who successfully signed up for shots after receiving an invitation.
Neither D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) nor city health officials offered an explanation as to why the rate for seniors was lower.
More than 30,000 seniors have been fully vaccinated in the District, according to the data. When the preregistration portal opened earlier this month, officials urged residents to help thousands more seniors sign up for available slots.
Registrants have 48 hours to confirm their appointments once they receive an invitation and are able to choose whether to receive that invitation via phone call, text or email. D.C. sent 19,410 more invitations Thursday morning, hoping to book about 15,500 available appointments, Bowser said.
At the news conference, officials also contradicted a claim made Wednesday by Patrick Ashley, the health department’s emergency response director, who told members of the D.C. Council that the District would not apply to participate in a community vaccination center program run by the Federal Emergency Response Management Agency.
Even though FEMA says on its website that these vaccine centers allow jurisdictions to receive more vaccine doses than they’re normally allocated, Ashley asserted the opposite, telling council members that the District doesn’t need the type of help that would come from the partnership.
But on Thursday, Chris Rodriguez, director of D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said city officials — who have been pleading for more doses of vaccine for months — had repeatedly asked FEMA to be part of the pilot program.
He said the request was rejected because the District does not meet the population and social vulnerability requirements for the program.
“Ultimately D.C. was deemed ineligible for that program for a variety of reasons,” he said. “We will continue to advocate in our biweekly calls to FEMA leadership to make sure we’re getting the vaccine doses that we need.”
FEMA did not answer questions from The Washington Post on Thursday about whether D.C. applied for or could qualify for a vaccination site.
Starting Monday, people who work in ride sharing, delivery and courier services in the District as well as essential media employees who work in person, become eligible for the vaccine, Bowser said.
She also announced that with the Major League Baseball season approaching, Nationals Park will close its coronavirus testing site this Friday.
Rodriguez said officials have observed a “steady decline” in the number of people seeking tests after the holiday season. Health director LaQuandra Nesbitt said officials are still encouraging people to seek coronavirus tests, especially before and after travel outside the city.
“Testing is still important, there are still many unvaccinated individuals in the District of Columbia and country as a whole,” Nesbitt said. “Because we don’t yet have enough vaccine for everybody who wants a dose.”
The District reported 104 new coronavirus cases Thursday, with no additional deaths. Maryland reported 1,382 new cases and three new deaths, and Virginia reported 1,559 new cases and four more deaths.
The seven-day average for new daily deaths in the three jurisdictions was 11, one of the lowest totals of the pandemic.
Julie Zauzmer contributed to this report.