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State Says Roughly 70,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Shots Were Incorrectly Logged

Joe Amon
Connecticut Public
DMD Steven Maltzer administers the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine to Norman Pryce, 70, in Hartford in February.

Federal data this week showed Connecticut lagging the national average on fully completed COVID-19 vaccinations. But federal and state officials now say those numbers were reported in error. 

Recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Connecticut giving out second-dose COVID vaccine shots to about 9.5% of the state’s population. 

It’s a number that has slightly dipped below the national rate this week, as Connecticut continues to be seen as a national leader on the vaccine rollout, earning praise from the Biden administration. 

But Josh Geballe, the state’s chief operating officer, said those federal numbers are wrong. His office said Wednesday night the CDC counted roughly 70,000 second doses as first doses, which makes it look like the state has fully vaccinated fewer people than it actually has. 

“There’s a known issue with the CDC’s reporting where they’re mis-classifying some of our second doses as first doses,” Geballe said. “We’ve been meeting with them for a week to try to help them figure out how to correct that in their data.”

A spokesperson for the CDC acknowledged the problem Thursday and said the agency is working “to update the numbers by this weekend.”

“Occasionally, a technical issue related to processing or transmission of data will occur,” CDC spokesperson Kate Fowlie said in an email. “When issues arise, CDC works closely with states, territories, and federal entities to resolve the technical issue. States will have the most up to date information for their jurisdictions.”

But Geballe acknowledged the state data also have blind spots. 

“We don’t have in our data some vaccinations that are done in Connecticut by our federal partners,” Geballe said. “In particular, the federal VA [Department of Veterans Affairs], who’s been very active. So we don’t get visibility to that.”

To date, more than 1.2 million COVID vaccine shots have been administered in Connecticut.

Connecticut Public Radio's Ali Warshavsky contributed to this report.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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