Delays with Texas' coronavirus vaccine reporting system may hinder allocation of doses

Despite being plagued by reporting issues, data collected in Texas' immunization reporting system may soon become a central factor in determining how many COVID-19 vaccine doses the state gets from the federal government moving forward, according to a Jan. 20 Texas Tribune report.

During the first six weeks of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the federal government allocated doses based mostly on population, but will likely start using the vaccination rate as "at least a piece of their allocation process," a Texas Department of State Health Services spokesperson told the publication.

The Texas health department last year chose the ImmTrac2 system as its main method of tracking the COVID-19 vaccine rollout as well as the means to transmit required immunization data to the federal government. The system was designed years ago to help Texas residents manage their inoculation records.

Some system users have claimed ImmTrac2 is time-consuming and sometimes requires providers to change their own software to transfer data. Rannon Ching, a pharmacist in Tarrytown, Texas, uses the system and said that at one point around the holidays realized that ImmTrac2 failed to record 500 administered doses that had been entered into the registry.

"I freaked out thinking, 'Oh my gosh, they're not going to give me any [more] doses because they think I'm not giving anything,'" he said.

When the pandemic hit, ImmTrac2 was undergoing upgrades to make it more seamlessly work with pharmacies and hospitals' vaccine recording systems, according to the report.

Just before Dec. 31, the Texas Division of Emergency Management launched its own system to collect data in near real time about the number of doses each provider has each day as a workaround while it addressed the reporting issues with ImmTrac2.

In an email sent to providers on Dec. 31, state health officials wrote that the new system is "an interim step until we can get all the data flowing consistently in ImmTrac2. … Please know that the teams are working hard to quickly resolve the data submission issues for some providers."

Click here to view the full report.


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