COVID-19 vaccination data across Finger Lakes Region can track 'progress toward herd immunity'
The healthcare community across the Finger Lakes Region has a new tool in its fight against the global pandemic: access to COVID-19 vaccination data for the growing number of people receiving injections.
This vital information is available through Rochester RHIO, the community health information exchange, which supports healthcare delivery for 1.5 million area residents in 14 counties.
Prior to this development, community public health officials and clinicians lacked the data needed to ensure that all the residents of our region have access to COVID-19 vaccination. With the change, RHIO authorized users such as doctors, nurses, long-term care providers and other clinical professionals can improve day-to-day care, being able to determine if their patients have been fully vaccinated or not.
The data will also allow a patient’s caregiver to view vaccine brand, timing and other dosing details to improve administration of second injections, which are required for certain approved protocols.
With the availability of this vaccination data, in addition to COVID-19 test results, county public health departments can now access COVID-19 vaccination records to analyze community progress toward herd immunity. Public health researchers can also analyze vaccine reach into specific populations (e.g., by county), equitable distribution and the impact of education efforts, among other initiatives.
“We began efforts last summer to prepare our systems for vaccination data, with the hope that breakthroughs were on the horizon,” said Jill Eisenstein, CEO and president, Rochester RHIO.
“By putting this information in the hands of the healthcare community, there’s even more reason to believe that we can collectively change the course of COVID-19’s effects across the Greater Finger Lakes Region.”
Rochester RHIO is also a data resource for the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force.