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Hawaii officials fix errors found in COVID-19 vaccination data

The Hawaii Department of Health today corrected errors in its COVID-19 vaccination data after finding that the percentage of residents who have received at least one dose of a vaccine was significantly lower than what’s been reported and the number of residents who received booster shots much higher.

On Thursday, DOH was reporting on the Hawaii’s COVID-19 data dashboard that 85.4% of Hawaii’s population had initiated vaccination. However, DOH now says that just 77% of the population statewide has received at least one dose of a vaccine.

The number of Hawaii residents fully vaccinated was also reduced slightly from 72.5% to 71.1%.

The number of booster shots, or third doses of a vaccine, that have been administered increased under the new calculations, from 159,054 to 228,892.

DOH said on Friday, in advance of releasing the new data, that providers had been incorrectly reporting booster shots as initial doses, contributing to the skewed numbers.

The revised data comes from the revamped Hawaii Immunization Registry, which was inoperable when the pandemic hit and has since undergone major upgrades, according to DOH.

Throughout the pandemic, DOH had been using the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS), which was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to record COVID-19 vaccination data because its immunization registry was under repair.

COVID-19 vaccination records have now been transferred from VAMS to the Hawaii Immunization Registry, which is now the data source for the state’s COVID-19 data dashboard, according to DOH.

“Moving from VAMS to the Hawai‘i Immunization Registry not only improves patient care, it also gives us more accurate vaccination data,” said DOH Director Libby Char in a press release. “We are committed to providing the most accurate data possible.”

The registry is a statewide information system that tracks patient immunization records for 25 diseases, including polio, tetanus, measles and mumps, according to DOH. The registry provides health care providers with an individual’s immunization history, allowing them to tell when a patient is overdue for a vaccine and preventing the administration of redundant vaccines.

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