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VERIFY: If you’re vaccinated in a different state, is your immunization counted in Washington data?

Public health officials said maybe but that you can make sure your records are recorded in Washington’s data.

SPOKANE, Wash. — We’re in the home stretch. Washington is slated to fully reopen its economy by June 30th or sooner, if 70% of those 16-years-old and older get vaccinated.

According to Washington’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard, 63.06% of that state’s population (16 and older) is “initiating vaccination.” 54.65% of Washington’s population is “fully vaccinated.” The data is as of June 2nd.   

The threshold, laid out by Washington Governor Jay Inslee, is meant to encourage those who are eligible, but have not yet been vaccinated to get immunized.

It’s also led to several questions about how the state tracks who is vaccinated, especially those who got immunized in a different state.

THE QUESTION

Viewer Gordon sent the KREM 2 Verify team this question: “…while away as a snowbird this winter, my spouse and I received our shots in a different state.  We are now back in Washington for the summer and fall.  Is it possible or impossible that we are counted in the Washington state vaccination head count goal?”

THE SOURCES

  • Washington State Department of Health
  • Spokane Regional Health District

WHAT WE FOUND

To answer this question the KREM 2 Verify Team reached out the Washington State Department of Health and the Spokane Regional Health District.  

Kelli Hawkins, Spokane Regional Health District Spokesperson said, “That is a great question and that is because…definitely…if you were vaccinated in another state then it is possible that your vaccination is not being included into Washington’s vaccination count.” 

Hawkins added that vaccinations are reported differently in every state. Washington uses the Washington Immunization Information system (IIS).

“And, so if you receive your vaccination outside of Washington then that provider did not have the ability to enter it into the IIS so it’s most likely not counted in our numbers,” Hawkins said.

Shelby Anderson, a public information officer for the State Department of Health added, “Washington would receive the person’s vaccination data if the provider they went to participates in data exchange with Washington, is a state that takes part in the IZ Gateway, or if the provider reports the person’s vaccination directly to the person’s provider in Washington.”

The IZ Gateway is an online infrastructure that helps with the exchange of immunization data between immunization information systems.

Hawkins, with SRHD, added that there’s no guarantee your vaccine records will reach your home state, unless you take steps to makes sure they do.

“Well, you can take your vaccination card or the information you got in the state where you were vaccinated to your local provider here in Washington and they can access the IIS and update your vaccination records,” she said.

THE ANSWER

We can verify that if you’re vaccinated in another state it is possible your vaccination records will be counted in Washington’s vaccination goal, but only if you make sure your provider has your vaccine records.

Do you have something you’d like the KREM 2 Verify Team to look into send them an email at: Verify@krem.com.