West Virginia health officials: Contractor error duplicates some vaccination data

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – During West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s semi-daily COVID-19 briefing, Justice and Maj. Gen. James Hoyer (Ret.) said the state had received some duplicated data that significantly impacted the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reporting of how many West Virginians have been vaccinated.

According to Hoyer, the state identified a problem with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contractor provided to West Virginia that specifically related to the Federal Pharmacy Program data. State officials say those numbers were being counted twice.

“Since the first part of May, they [the contractor] have been double counting the numbers that they send us related to the Federal Pharmacy Program, so it has made a significant impact on our numbers,” Hoyer said.

The recalculated data shows 55.3% of the state’s total population have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. For those eligible for a vaccine, 63.7% have received at least one dose and 55.9% are fully vaccinated. These numbers had shown 64.6%, 74.3% and 60.1% respectively prior to the recalculation.

“There’s no way in the world you can guide the ship with bad information. And when you’re looking every day and you’re saying that 74% of our people 12 and older that are eligible, 74% of them have got at least the first shot, but then you’re reading 74 died, 48 died, 54 died, whatever it may be, you’re almost bewildered,” Justice said. “You’re thinking… I don’t know how much better we can get, then why are all these people continuing to die? Well, the net of the whole thing is there are a lot of folks still out there in West Virginia that haven’t been vaccinated… Now I know we’ve got to double down even more.”

Hoyer says data scientists from WV DHHR and West Virginia University are currently going through all the state’s numbers again to make certain no other inaccurate information has been provided to the state. An additional step in the validation process has also been added in an effort to prevent the error from happening again.

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