Arizona health department backtracks on coronavirus vaccination totals
PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Health Services amended its coronavirus vaccination totals on Thursday, saying the changes have come from taking the time to validate data the department has received.
“The new, validated number becomes the basis for continued real-time reporting,” ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a blog post. “Meanwhile, finding duplicates in data addresses issues and improves the real-time data we report daily.”
Christ noted that unlike with coronavirus cases and deaths, the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine require “additional steps for data matching and deduplication.”
“Similar to the first time we completed our death data matching, the first merging, matching and cleaning of data usually results in a significant change in the number of records identified and removed (or added),” Christ said.
On Wednesday, the department said more than 119,000 coronavirus vaccines had been distributed in the state; however, they backtracked on Thursday, saying around 113,000 vaccines had been administered as a result of cleaning up the data.
The state overall has been slow to ramp up coronavirus vaccine distribution since receiving the first shipments in mid-December.
Arizona counties are slowly transitioning from phase 1A to 1B of vaccine distribution. Phase 1A has prioritized health care workers and those working and living in long term care facilities.
Apache, Pinal and Gila counties have started to vaccinate those in 1B, which includes teachers, adults 75 and older, essential workers and adults with high risk-conditions in congregate settings.
Maricopa County said on Wednesday it would enter phase 1B next week.
The arrival of the vaccine and ramping up of the distribution process comes as the state continues to reach new pandemic levels.
On Thursday, state health officials reported 9,913 new coronavirus cases and a record 297 additional deaths, bringing the states documented totals to 584,593 COVID-19 infections and 9,741 fatalities.