Florida health records show spotty vaccination data at state level

FDOH says data for 55 Florida counties was not available

ORLANDO, Fla. – Coronavirus vaccination records show detailed information for all of Florida’s 67 counties may not be readily available.

News 6 submitted a public records request with the Florida Department of Health on Jan. 12 asking for a list of ZIP codes belonging to people who had been vaccinated along with the date they received their shot.

The request was designed to produce records from the first group of vaccinations in December to the current date.

The FDOH responded 97 days later.

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Out of the 67 Florida counties requested in the public records request, FDOH produced records for only 12 counties.

“Please note, there are no records responsive for other counties,” explained Kendra Washington, Public Records Manager for the Florida Department of Health’s Office of the General Counsel.

She did not respond to questions about why there were no other records.

In Central Florida, records were only available for Orange and Lake counties out of 10 counties in the region.

In Lake County, FDOH produced only one document which showed a cumulative total of people who had received a coronavirus vaccine and their ZIP code, but it was dated March 3.

In contrast, the numbers produced for Orange County were extensive, and they dated back to Dec.15, when some of the first people in the county received their shot.

However, some of the records for days afterward appeared to be missing.

Some of the records broke down vaccinations by demographics, while most did not.

Some dates had duplicate entries with different vaccination data entered.

For example, there were two files provided for Jan. 25, and both had different numbers of people vaccinated in each ZIP code.

News 6 asked FDOH representatives from the counties that were absent from the public records what they were required to report to the state and why their data might not have been included.

Officials from some counties responded, explaining they were required to report all of their COVID-19 vaccination data to the Florida Shots web portal.

“We report all of our vaccinations within 24 hours into Florida Shots (per requirement); we have not created reports (records) that break COVID vaccination data down into ZIP code level data,” wrote Christy Jergens with the Florida Department of Health in Marion County.

“The Department of Health in Volusia County reports all vaccination data daily to the Florida Department of Health’s Central Office,” wrote a representative from FDOH in Volusia County. “Data requests related to ZIP code level COVID-19 vaccination/cases must be reviewed by our Central Communications Office.”

They could not explain why their numbers were not handed over.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.