West Virginia blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for providing inflated data that caused its vaccination rate to plummet on Wednesday after the error was discovered.
The problem was with contractor data from the CDC related to a federal pharmacy program, according to retired National Guard Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the head of the state’s coronavirus task force.
“Since the first part of May, they’ve been double counting the numbers sent to us,” Hoyer said at a press conference. “It has made a significant impact on the numbers.”
Gov. Jim Justice (R) pinned the blame on the CDC, calling the revelation a “cannonball to the stomach.”
“We can blame this on the CDC, and it’s their fault," Justice said at the press conference. "There’s no excuse, in my opinion, for the CDC to screw this up.”
Data on the state website now says 67.3 percent of those above the age of 12 have one dose of the vaccine. Previously, before the data error was discovered, the website put that figure at 74.3 percent, The Associated Press reported.
Another team is going through the data given by contractors to make sure nothing else is inaccurate, Hoyer said.
“Occasionally, issues related to processing or transmission of data will occur,” CDC spokesman Scott Pauley told the AP. “When issues arise, CDC works closely with states, territories, and federal entities to resolve the issue.”