Vaccine data reconciliation between state and federal sources will take time

For immediate release: June 7, 2021   (21-145)Spanish

Contact: DOH Communications

Public inquiries: State COVID-19 Information Hotline, 1-800-525-0127

Vaccine data reconciliation between state and federal sources will take time

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is aware there are differences between vaccination data displayed in the state’s data dashboard compared to vaccination data in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID Data Tracker.

The CDC reports 7,843,092 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Washington as of June 6, whereas DOH reports 7,253,646 doses have been administered as of June 5. The state’s data dashboard represents the most accurate information the department has control over, and there are a few reasons why numbers are different:

  • The federal government gets data from the Department of Defense (DoD), Veterans Affairs (VA), Bureau of Prisons, and potentially a few other sources of vaccines allocated directly from the federal government that do not get shared with DOH.
  • Washington residents vaccinated out of state may not have records entered in the state’s Immunization Information System (IIS) but would be included in the CDC dashboard.
  • DOH uses 2020 population estimates from the state’s Office of Financial Management, which are larger and more accurate, while the federal government uses 2019 census data.
  • The state goal and data dashboard report vaccine initiation for people 16 and older, which is 64% as of June 5. The federal government counts vaccine initiation only for people 18 and up.

DOH has received limited aggregate data from the VA and DoD, but it has not been incorporated into reported vaccination rates. DOH does not have a way to add aggregate data into the state’s dashboard, which is driven by individual person data and DOH has no way of verifying aggregate administered vaccines were not previously reported by another provider. For example, if a veteran sees a provider outside of the VA who documents the COVID-19 vaccine into their electronic medical record, that data could be submitted to the IIS and included in state vaccination rates. If it is added again the person may be double counted in the system. DOH is looking into the feasibility of incorporating these aggregate data, but there is currently not a solution. The state has asked the federal government to share vaccination information from programs at their facilities to accurately paint a picture of how protected Washington communities are, but this information has not been released.

DOH is committed to ensuring vaccination rates reported to the state’s data dashboard are accurate and consistent. The state will continue to work with the federal government on this matter and thanks the more than 3.9 million Washingtonians who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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