COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- 13 Investigates received numerous messages from Coloradans who said they tried looking for themselves in the database of vaccine recipients who are eligible for the state's COVID-19 vaccine lottery but didn’t find themselves listed.
It turns out the issue is with how vaccine data is reported by the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs.
Earlier this week, Gov. Jared Polis said anyone who's received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose would be eligible for the state's five drawings for $1 million. The state is using immunization data authorized by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to choose the winners. We provided information on how to check eligibility earlier Thursday at this link.
13 Investigates learned later Thursday that more than 46,000 El Paso County residents are currently ineligible to win a million dollars despite getting the vaccine. We learned from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that the issue stems from how the data is reported to the state.
"Large federal entities-- like the VA, like DOD, and like Bureau of Prisons --do not report patient-level data to our system," said Heather Roth with CDPHE.
As for the FEMA site at Pueblo's Colorado State Fairgrounds, those vaccine recipients are currently eligible for the lottery. Roth says the CDPHE gathers the site's patient information because it is still a community site despite being funded by the federal government.
"I used your link on your story to see if my shots were registered; lo and behold, it wasn't," Wayne Morris told KRDO Thursday.
Morris showed that he got his shots back in January at Fort Carson, but he's concerned he won't have a shot at the million dollars.
Anjanette Pettigrew and her husband are in the same boat, having received their vaccination shots from the VA. Pettigrew said the data disconnect between the state and federal agencies is "an oversight."
CDPHE tells us they're working on a solution.
"We are exploring a method I think will solve this issue," said Roth. "We are considering amending the lottery drawing rules. Specifically for VA and DOD members, so their data doesn't need to exist in the CIIS. So long as it exists in the VA and DOD system."
It's unclear when this solution will be implemented. CDPHE said those impacted won't need to opt-in or sign up for lottery if the VA or DOD possess their vaccine records.
Gov. Polis previously said residents will need to be in the immunization database by June 1 to be eligible. CDPHE says vaccine recipients need to check in with their federal vaccine providers to see if they are eligible for the lottery.