Patchwork of vaccination records leaves some Pennsylvania hospitals unsure which patients are vaccinated 

The fractured process of COVID-19 vaccination record keeping has prevented some Philadelphia-based hospitals from discerning which patients have gotten the COVID-19 shot, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Aug. 31. 

Five things to know: 

1. Thomas Jefferson University, Temple University Hospital and Einstein Medical Center, all in Philadelphia, all have reported issues with obtaining accurate COVID-19 vaccination records this year. 

2. Since the vaccines were rolled out earlier this year, Einstein Medical Center physicians have reported patients who are "100 percent sure" they were vaccinated as not showing up in the city's database, PhilaVax. Another record showed a patient to have gotten first doses in both January and then April, according to the report. 

3. The lack of reliable vaccine records complicates efforts to understand vaccine effectiveness and determine how many local hospitalizations and deaths are the result of COVID-19 breakthrough infections, John Zurlo, MD, infectious disease director at Thomas Jefferson University, told the publication. 

4. Unreliable records keep city hospitals' staff from verifying the vaccination status of patients who come to hospitals unconscious or unable to communicate and also complicates efforts to encourage unvaccinated patients to get their doses, according to the report. 

5. The CDC in June issued a notice of intent to hire seven contractors to modernize its vaccination record system and create a single gateway to access records of all Americans, but the city of Philadelphia has not gotten notification of any progress, according to the report. The CDC did not respond to the publication's comment requests.


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