DENVER (CBS4) – “Right here. Fully vaccinated as of April 26,” Eric Felix shared as he showed his vaccine card. Felix is one of now millions in Colorado fully or partially vaccinated.
It was important to him to do it.
“My dad, he ended up getting COVID, my wife got it and my mother. He ended up passing about two weeks before we moved out here.”
That was late last year. The loss of his father to COVID still hurts. He is a believer in vaccines and plans to have his children vaccinated as soon as possible.
He’s just the kind of person Colorado hopes to reward to stepping up and pulling up a sleeve.
But he’s not sure he’ll be eligible get that reward. When he entered his information in the state’s new public portal to the Colorado Immunization Information System or CIIS, “I found a notification that says I was not in their system at all.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Immunization Branch Chief Heather Roth says the database where vaccination information lives has been in existence since the early 2000s. People who do find themselves will see a history of shots entered into the CIIS. Vaccine providers are required to submit the information. But the public portal is new.
“We’ve heard from thousands of Coloradans who are really excited about winning $1 million dollars,” said Roth.
But many are having issues like those Eric Felix is experiencing.
“Yeah we are pretty busy with that. We have over 20 people working on responding to emails and phone that we’re receiving right now,” said Roth.
What the state says it is finding is conflicting information.
“Largely due to mismatches in what the provider may have reported to the system and what they’re using to request their information from the system…. I think the biggest thing tripping people up is the cellphone and the email address. Either those exist on the record or they’re in the wrong place on the record.”
Roth says they are able to help just about everyone.
“99% of the people that we’ve assisted here at the department have been in the system with their COVID vaccines and they are eligible for the drawing.”
She says there have been complications with data entry not matching exactly. The portal is not very forgiving of any mismatch and people report being locked out for a time or getting repeated messages that their information cannot be found. Felix went back to his vaccine provider to ask on Wednesday.
“I ended up contacting Safeway who did my vaccine and spoke to the pharmacist and she said that I’m in their system, but I’m not in the state system. And there’s a disconnect between the state system and their system.”
But it’s not clear whether he may be in the system somewhere, listed incorrectly or differently.
“It all goes back to what they give to the provider at the time that they get their vaccination and what the provider actually does with that data to get it into the system,” Roth added.
Not all people are getting into the system right away, however.
“I think by and large… all of the enrolled providers here in the State of Colorado are reporting their doses to the system within 72 hours. I think we get almost 90% of the data into the system… Sometimes there are delays.”
And there are some vaccine providers not yet reporting into the system. The Veteran’s Administration is one example, the Department of Defense, another.
“We don’t get patient level data from those entities into our system. I will say that we have a solution in place to enable all VA members who reside in Colorado and who have had at least one COVID vaccine to be eligible in the drawing and we are still working on a solution to also enable all DOD members to also become eligible in the drawing.”
That means the drawing done Wednesday and revealed Friday will not include people who were vaccinated at Colorado’s military bases.
That’s important to Eric.
“I’m all about veterans. I’ve got several friends that are veterans. So it’s very important for them, if anyone is to win, they should be the ones with their names drawn.”
You will find a link to the portal as well as how to get help if you cannot locate your records here.
The CIIS Help Desk can be reached at: 303-692-2437, option 2, or 1-888-611-9918, option 1