DENVER — Ever since Gov. Jared Polis announced a COVID-19 vaccine drawing where five lucky Coloradans will win $1 million in coming weeks as part of the Colorado Comeback Cash Program, people across the state have started to log on to the Colorado Immunization Information System to make sure their vaccine was recorded.
For many, this was the first time they even heard of the database, let alone tried to log in and a number of people had issues accessing their record. Denver7 spent the day talking to people and trying to help them problem-solve the issues with the site. Here’s what we found out:
Common complaint: It takes me forever to scroll through the months to get to my birth year
There is a little carrot that looks like this ^ next to the month on the website. If you click on it, you can more quickly get to your birth year.
If I got my shot through the VA, is it in the system?
No, not currently. The Colorado Department of Public Health says the Department of Veterans Affairs does not enter vaccine information into CIIS, but it is working with the VA to find a solution so veterans can also be eligible for the prize.
In an update Friday, CDPHE provided the following statement:
"We have worked closely with the Veteran’s Administration to find a solution with their eligibility in the upcoming $1 million drawings, and we are pleased to announce that individuals vaccinated through the VA will be eligible. Discussions with the Department of Defense are ongoing, and we are confident we will have more positive news to report soon. We will provide more details when they become available."
If I got my shot from out of state will my records be in the CIIS system?
Likely no. CIIS does not automatically receive vaccine data for Colorado residents from non-Colorado providers. You can contact the CIIS help desk to provide proof of your vaccination to be entered.
If I was part of the vaccine trials am I eligible for the lottery?
Yes. If you are not showing up in the system, contact the provider who administered the vaccine.
How often are these records reported to CIIS and who reports them?
According to CDPHE, 89% of providers report doses administered within 72 hours of when they were given to an individual.
How many people in the state have gotten the COVID vaccine?
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, 2,981,338 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Could I be typing in something wrong/differently?
Yes. One person Denver7 spoke with typed in his name spelled differently and was able to pull up his record. If your name is shortened in some way, try the full spelling. Another person typed in her maiden name and had luck accessing the system.
Does the phone number or email you enter matter?
Yes. Although the login sheet does not specify it, CIIS relies on the information your vaccine provider entered. Gina Gibbons tells Denver7 she tried her different emails and phone numbers and was finally able to access the system.
CDPHE believes this is the most likely reason people are running into issues. If you want to update your information, contact your vaccine provider or the CIIS help desk.
Others who have successfully been able to log into the website noticed that while their COVID records show up, their vaccine records are incomplete. Katheryn Chew tells Denver7 her records are missing several flu vaccines and a shingles shot. She worries about what this means for her medical records if she tries to switch doctors.
“Is this a voluntary database that they’re creating? Is it a required database? If it’s required for providers within the state of Colorado to accurately report this information, it’s not being reported. Where is the oversight that has been finding out who is correctly reporting things,” Chew said.
According to CDPHE, the database was created in 2007 by the Colorado Immunization Registry Act and should have records from that point on. Vaccine providers must report to the system, it is not voluntary. CIIS says it has 10 full-time staff members who are dedicated to ensuring accuracy. If you notice an issue, you can report it to the help desk.
Who do I contact if none of this works?
If you are unable to access immunization records through the Public Portal, contact the CIIS Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 303-692-2437, option 2 to update the patient information. Denver7 tried calling the number and it went to a voicemail so the email might be a better shot.
The help desk will need to verify your identity. If they are not able to verify your identity based on what is currently in CIIS, you will need to contact your health care provider to update the information.
State officials said the CIIS Held Desk went from taking 5-10 calls per day to around 40 calls per day, since the vaccine drawing was announced. Email responses are on a turnaround of about 1-2 days.