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Putnam’s Puzzling Covid Vaccination Numbers

Putnam’s Covid vaccination totals reported by the DHHR for the seven day period of March 6-13 do not agree with the number of shots administered. The Putnam County Health Department administered 1,600 shots at Hurricane High School on Saturday, March 6. That is 1,600 shots in addition to shots which Putnam residents may have received from other clinics during the same time frame.

On Saturday, March 13, the DHHR reported that 6,162 Putnam residents were fully vaccinated for the coronavirus and that 8,279 had received their first shot. One would expect these numbers to include those vaccinated on March 6. The DHHR data reveals that 281 residents received their second shot in the March 6-13 period and 464 got their first shot. That adds to 745 vaccinations, 855 short of the number vaccinated at Hurricane High School on March 6. Where are the missing 855?

Possibly some of the 855 were non-residents. A better explanation is the possibility that the vast majority of the missing 855 shots have yet to be recorded by the DHHR. The DHHR data reveals a surge in Putnam vaccination recorded in two separate 3-day spans, March 4-6 and March 12-14. The two surges likely reflects the vaccinations at Hurricane High School on February 28 and March 6. The fact that 8 days separate clinics conducted one week apart suggests that the DHHR is experiencing difficulty in keeping pace with the numbers being reported by all county health departments.

The Putnam County Health Department administered 1,500 vaccinations at the National Guard Armory in Eleanor on Saturday (March 13). Health Department administrator Lolita Kirk stated that the 1,500 vaccinated were all first shot recipients. The lag between the date a shot and date that the shot is recorded will be clarified when DHHR data produces a 1,500 first shot surge.

Those vaccinated at the Eleanor clinic included residents in the 50-65 age group. While not everyone in the 65-80 and 80+ age groups have been vaccinated, DHHR data is showing lower infection rates among Putnam residents who are 70 and older. In the period from February 15 to March 15, 17.3% of all infections in residents over 50 were in the 70+ age group. Between January 18 and February 14, 28.2% of those 50 and older were older than 70. In the December 21 – January 17 period, the percentage was 30.0%. 

DHHR data for March 15 lists 11.0% of Putnam’s 56,450 residents as fully vaccinated. An additional 8,858 have received the first shot. This data would not include any of those vaccinated at Eleanor. 

All receiving their first shot on Saturday were administered the Moderna vaccine.

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