Immunizations expert accuses CDC, Deloitte of stealing her idea for vaccination tracking system

Tiffany Tate, executive director of the immunization coalition Maryland Partnership for Prevention, alleged that the CDC and Deloitte stole her intellectual property to create the CDC's COVID-19 vaccine data management system, according to a cease-and-desist letter obtained by the New York Times.

Ms. Tate told the Times Feb. 6 she previewed her system, called PrepMod, for COVID-19 vaccination data management to the CDC and Deloitte officials, who the CDC said were consultants, in May. She also said she offered to license her system for $15 million.

In May, the CDC gave Deloitte $16 million to build and manage the federal system for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration tracking, and it gave the company another $28 million for the project in December. 

The federal government offered the system, called the Vaccine Administration Management System, or VAMS, to states to use for free, but most states have opted to pay for alternative systems or use paper recording methods. 

Ms. Tate's cease-and-desist letter, dated Aug. 30, accuses the CDC and Deloitte of stealing her intellectual property, saying that VAMS' design mirrors that of PrepMod and one of PrepMod's new features "also eventually found its way into" VAMS.

"I was in shock, and I really was heartbroken because I’ve worked with these people my entire career and I respected them and I trusted them," Ms. Tate told the Times. “It was very, very upsetting.”

Ms. Tate told the Times that after the CDC rejected her offer to license PrepMod, she sold it to states herself. Twenty-seven states and jurisdictions are using the system, with Louisiana expected to sign on soon and bring the total to 28. 

The CDC did not respond to the newspaper's request for comment. Deloitte spokesperson Jonathan Gandal told the Times Ms. Tate's accusations are "baseless" and said VAMS is a "scalable, Salesforce-based application designed to CDC's requirements and not based on [her] information or technology."


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