KDHE Secretary says coronavirus shot reporting numbers are ‘way low’ and ‘drives him crazy’

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The state’s top health official says he is not happy with the lack of coronavirus vaccine reporting.

Kansas has received 413,000 vaccines, but state data shows only 55% of those have gone into people’s arms.

The Department of Health and Environment secretary, Lee Norman says those numbers “are way low” and the data reporting problems “drives him crazy. “

“There’s nothing more frustrating for me right now than the fact that we need to fix the data reporting, because I’m here to tell you that we are taking the distributed doses that come to Kansas, we are pushing it out to every county and every vaccinating site, and they are being injected into people’s arms,” Norman said.

On Monday, lawmakers asked Norman where the accountability is.

“The important thing is getting the vaccine out, but if we aren’t reporting, we don’t know, and we do want to know, we want to know that every vaccine is accounted for and that they’re actually getting to the people that they’re supposed to get to, so that’s a big issue,” said Olathe Representative Charlotte Esau.

Dr. Norman assured them that the numbers aren’t as bad as they seem. He said the issues are that multiple reporting systems aren’t communicating with each other. Officials are also trying to pull data from electronic health records in a different way.

Dr. Norman said it’s clear that the state is doing better than what’s being shown because large distribution sites like a hospital are behind in reporting by as many as 4,000 doses.

“I talk to these executives, chief nurses, and the infection protection people and whatnot, they say we do not have one dose of vaccine, and I’ll say okay, then why does it say you are 1,800 doses behind, they’ll say, gosh we thought we entered it in,” said Norman.

Norman also made a point of it to say that the state needs more vaccines from the federal government, and many lawmakers agree.

“The biggest problem is that we don’t have enough vaccines for the people that want them at this point,” Esau said.

On the reporting front, the secretary said there is a team at KDHE is working on it, and he is talking to groups that are behind to improve reporting. He said the numbers could reflect what is really happening in a week.

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