Vaccine-distribution reporting continues to be challenge for Kansas

Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 4:50 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - As doses of COVID-19 vaccines continue to come into Kansas and efforts ramp up to administer the shot to more people across the state, the question continues as to whether the number of people getting vaccines shows up correctly on state and national data.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) shows that eight percent of Kansans have been vaccinated and more than 303,000 doses have been administered. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows 597 doses less than what the KDHE presents.

“We’re pretty confident that vaccine has not gone to waste,” said KDHE Chief Advisor for COVID-19 Coordination Dr. Marci Nielsen. “It’s gone into people’s arms, and this is a data reporting issue.”

The KDHE says there are two problems explaining the discrepancy between what it shows compared to the CDC’s number for Kansas. The first is with hospitals putting the vaccination information into employee records rather than on medical records. The other problem is that some hospitals transferred their vaccines to other medical facilities, but the accounting for those doses is not catching up to the records from the CDC.

“We’ve been able to resolve about 25 percent of those data reporting issues. You should see some improvements in the coming weeks, but we intend to go through facility by facility and we’re looking to give gold stars to those facilities that have been really focused on reporting,” Dr. Nielsen said.

Dr. Nielsen said the biggest issue Kansas hospitals are experiencing with COVID-19 vaccinations is that the state isn’t getting as many doses of the vaccine as it needs to vaccinate as many people as doctors would like.

“The reporting of the vaccine is also very important so that the state and the federal government can see how many people have been vaccinated and who’s been vaccinated and make sure that we continue to get allocation to our state,” Kansas Hospital Association Senior Vice President Cindy Samuelson said.

Samuelson said the Kansas Hospital Association has been connecting providers with the KDHE to get the most accurate data on vaccines distributed in the state.

On Monday evening, Dr. Nielsen further discussed Kansas’ COVID-19 response with Eyewitness News anchor and “Right Now” host Michael Schwanke. You can see the full interview, separated into two parts in the windows below.

Dr. Marci Nielsen interview Part 1:

Dr. Marci Nielsen interview Part 2:

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