State of Iowa revises covid stat after KWQC inquiry

65+ vaccination figure 82%, not 95%
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 9:04 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Iowa Department of Public Health has revised one of its recent statistics regarding statewide covid vaccinations after an inquiry from KWQC TV6.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds reported last week that 95 percent of Iowans 65 and older have received at least one covid vaccination dose, a percentage significantly higher than the 73.7 percent figure the Centers for Disease Control was reporting for that age group at the time.

After TV6 asked for a clarification, the Iowa Department of Public Health responded to TV6 via email saying that the 95 percent figure was incorrect.

“Last week, when we reviewed the CDC calculation for individuals 65+ receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, there was a noticeable difference between the CDC’s and the state’s calculations. At that time, we discovered an error in the worksheet that staff uses for calculation. Individuals having completed the vaccine series were counted twice instead of once. As a result, the state was reporting a higher percentage of Iowans 65+ having received at least one dose. The percentage reported prior to identifying the error was 95%,” wrote IDPH spokesperson Sarah Ekstrand.

“Our recalculation is below, using the CDC reported number for Iowans age 65+ with a least one dose (421,553) and population census data from Tiberius (the software platform designed to guide the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine) for the total number of individuals 65+ in Iowa (513,872).”

IDPH states its recalculation as of March 22 includes:

Age 65+ with at least one dose = 421,553

Population Age of 65+ = 513,872

State calculation = 82%

“Because the state uses Iowa census data to calculate age-specific results, and the CDC uses an estimated population for Iowans 65+ for its calculations, some variability will continue to exist between state and CDC reporting,” Ekstrand wrote, noting that the CDC calculation is 76.2 percent.

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