Some NC counties struggle to get more vaccines due to COVID-19 data system issues, health official says

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Data from the state this week showed some counties in our area have used 15 percent or less of their allocated first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Halifax was one of them.

“When you told me the state reported 15 percent or less of our allocation being used here, I was shocked,” said Bruce Robistow, Halifax County health director.

Robistow said that’s because they’ve actually exceeded their allocation.

He says every dose they’ve received, they put in someone’s arm. They even asked for more doses to administer from a neighboring hospital.

“We’ve had an incredible turnout,” he said.

He said the problem is the state’s system they upload the data into. It’s called CVMS.

“The CVMS program is a program that is designed to make everything flow well, from reordering medication to keeping track of who’s been vaccinated with what, it’s a great program, but it’s new,” said Robistow.

“It’s nobody’s fault. This is a new process for everybody and we’re working through it.”

They’ve had trouble accessing it and entering data, leading the system to show they’ve done less than they have.

Future allocations depend on the numbers they enter. He said they’ve already received fewer doses because of it.

“The last thing we’re doing is underperforming. We’re just having difficulty,” said Robistow.

He’s called for volunteers across the county and help from the National Guard.

“They’re going to come out, help us get caught up, help us iron out the bugs and we should be up to par, but it’s a lot of work,” said Robistow.

Edgecombe and Vance Counties also told CBS 17 the state’s program numbers aren’t up to date.

“It’s just finding the kinks to work out in that system here in the beginning and I’m sure we’ll get there,” said Lisa Macon Harrison, health director for Granville Vance Public Health. “We are not as far behind as that system makes it appear from yesterday’s data.”

Macon Harrison said the issue they’ve had in Vance is registering people.

“It doesn’t take long to give shots, but it does take awhile to enter all the other information and data that will be lagging,” she said.

CBS 17 took the concerns to the state, which they said they’re working on.

“The underlying system works, but we realize it takes effort to put the data into the system so that means people and time and that’s what we want to be here to help with,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Cohen said they especially don’t want this to keep anyone from getting more vaccines.

“The more people have access, the better, so we’re looking forward to that,” said Macon Harrison.

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