Huge gaps in vaccine data make it hard to know who got the shots

The data being collected is so scattered that there’s little insight into which health care workers, or first responders, have been among the people getting the initial vaccines, as intended — or how many doses instead have gone to people who should be much further down the list.

The gaps — which experts say reflect decades of underfunding of public health programs — could mean that well-connected people and health personnel who have no contact with patients are getting vaccines before front-line workers, who are at much higher risk for illness. Federal and state officials prioritized health workers plus residents and staffs of nursing homes for the first wave of shots…

Texas’ vaccine data on Wednesday showed that race or ethnicity was unknown for more than 700,000 people. Virginia’s dashboard shows that data was missing for nearly 300,000 vaccinations, or 52% of vaccine doses, as of Tuesday. The same was true for tens of thousands of vaccinations in Colorado and Maryland.

In Minnesota, state law prohibits the sharing of data on race and ethnicity.