Health experts worry that CDC’s COVID vaccination rate seems to be overstated
In the past month, the online vaccine tracker of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that almost all people 65 years of age and older (99.9%) in the United States have received at least one dose of the new crown vaccine.
That would be great-if it were true.
But health experts and state officials say this is definitely not.
They pointed out that according to the latest census data in 2019, as of December 5, the CDC recorded at least part of the number of vaccinated seniors (55.4 million) than the number of people in that age group (54.1 million). The CDC’s vaccination rate for residents of 65 KFF found in a November poll that the vaccination rate for older people was significantly higher than 89%.
Similarly, a YouGov poll for The Economist last month found that 83% of people 65 and older said they had at least the first dose of the vaccine.
CDC counts 21 states, and almost all elderly residents are at least partially vaccinated (99.9%). However, several of these states show much lower numbers in their vaccine databases, with California receiving 86% and West Virginia receiving nearly 90% as of December 6.
CDC’s suspicious data on the vaccination rate for the elderly illustrate one of the potential problems with the CDC’s COVID vaccination data that health experts pointed out.
Dr. Howard Forman, professor of public health at Yale University School of Medicine, said that knowing exactly how many people roll up their sleeves for the new crown vaccine is critical to public health work.
“These numbers are important,” he said, especially when working to increase the booster dose rate. As of December 5, since the federal government provided the vaccine in September, approximately 47% of people 65 and older have received booster shots.
“I’m not sure how reliable the CDC numbers are,” he said, noting that there is a discrepancy between the state data and the agency’s 99.9% of senior citizens, which he said is incorrect.
“You want to know the best data to plan and prepare, and know where to place resources-especially where vaccination is severely insufficient,” Forman said.
For many reasons, it is difficult to obtain accurate figures on the proportion of vaccinated residents. The CDC and the states may use different population estimates. State data may not include residents who are vaccinated in states outside their residence or in clinics located in federal facilities (such as prisons) or clinics managed by the Veterans Health Administration or Indian Health Services.
CDC officials stated that if a person’s injection was made in a different state or even from a provider in the same city or state, the agency may not be able to determine whether a person is receiving the first dose, the second dose, or the booster. CDC spokesperson Scott Pauley said this may cause the CDC to overestimate the first dose and underestimate the booster dose.
According to the footnote of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) New Coronavirus Vaccine Data Tracker, “Due to the need to delete personally identifiable information (de-identification) data to protect people’s privacy, vaccination in different jurisdictions or different providers When it comes to vaccines, there are challenges in linking doses.” webpage. “This means that even if CDC receives high-quality data from jurisdictions and federal entities, there are limitations in the way CDC analyzes this data.”
On its dashboard, the CDC has limited the percentage of the vaccinated population to 99.9%. But Poly said that its data may have multiple reasons. For example, the census denominator does not include everyone currently living in a specific county, such as part-time residents, or potential data reporting errors.
Liz Hamel, KFF’s vice president and head of public opinion and research, agrees that 99.9% of elderly people are unlikely to be vaccinated. She said there is a significant difference between the CDC vaccination rate and the vaccination rate found in KFF and other polls. “The truth may be somewhere in between,” she said.
Hamel pointed out that the KFF vaccination rates in spring and summer are closely related to the CDC data, but divergence began to appear in the fall, just when the booster injection was available.
The KFF survey showed that the proportion of adults who were at least partially vaccinated did not change much from September to November, rising from 72% to 73%. But CDC data shows that it rose from 75% in September to 81% in mid-November.
The CDC stated that as of December 5, 83.4% of adults had been vaccinated at least in part.
William Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard University, said this discrepancy puts the CDC’s numbers into question. He said that it is important to obtain accurate figures on the percentage of vaccinations among the elderly because this age group is most vulnerable to the serious consequences of the new coronavirus, including death.
Hanage said: “It’s important to get them right because people talk a lot, from worrying about cases to worrying about serious consequences such as being hospitalized.” “The consequences of cases will increasingly depend on the ratio of unvaccinated to unvaccinated, so Properly handling this is crucial to understanding the pandemic.”
For example, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that New Hampshire leads the country in vaccination rates, with approximately 88% of its total population vaccinated at least in part.
The New Hampshire Vaccine Dashboard shows that 61.1% of residents are at least partially vaccinated, but due to data collection issues, the state does not count all those vaccinated in pharmacies, said Jacqueline, a spokesperson for the State Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition, Pennsylvania health officials stated that they have been working with the CDC to correct the vaccination rate data on the federal website. State health department spokesperson Mark O’Neill said the state is trying to delete duplicate vaccination records to ensure that the dose classification is correct-from the initial dose to the booster.
As part of the effort, in late November, the CDC reduced the proportion of adults in the state who received at least one dose of the vaccine from 98.9% to 94.6%. It also reduced the percentage of fully vaccinated elderly people from 92.5% to 84%.
However, the CDC has not changed its figures on the proportion of elderly people receiving partial vaccines. It is still 99.9%. The CDC dashboard shows that as of December 5th, at least 3.1 million seniors in Pennsylvania had been partially vaccinated. The latest census data shows that Pennsylvania has 2.4 million people 65 years of age and older.