by Max Darrow

SAN BRUNO (KPIX) — As Bay Area counties look to increase their vaccination numbers San Mateo County just decreased the total number of its residents who’ve received at least one dose of the vaccine from around 94% to just under 90% or by about 36,000 people.

Louise Rogers, the San Mateo County health chief, shared the following explanation in her October 14 “Message from the Chief” notice:

“I want to make you aware of a correction to our vaccination data that will result in lowering the total number of San Mateo County vaccinated residents by around 36,000. This in turn reduces our reach metric to just under 90% of eligible residents having received at least one vaccine rather than the 94-plus% we have reported recently, around a five percentage point difference.

“During the past month, our staff have been working through a data discrepancy between what we and the state report about our vaccination reach in the county. We discovered that our process for synthesizing state data for our local reporting was flawed, which has resulted in diminished accuracy of the vaccination information on our dashboards.

“The root of this is that we were not capturing all the changes in the state vaccination data registry in our daily downloads and reports. Because we were downloading incremental updates that showed new local vaccinations but not demographic updates that included removing duplicates and correcting address data, the net result is a cumulative decrease in the count of vaccinated San Mateo County residents since December 2020.

Each of the dashboards that display vaccination reach statistics is now being adjusted to reflect the more accurate counts, and our process for downloading the data has been corrected to improve the accuracy of the data we publish daily.”

Meantime, vaccination efforts continued on Saturday in San Mateo County, with a pop-up clinic at Belle Air Elementary School in San Bruno. County supervisor David Canepa was there. KPIX asked him about the data reporting error.

“With these numbers, they’re not perfect. We’re all learning. We continue to learn throughout the process,” he said.

The county partnered with the Peninsula Healthcare District for the clinic.

“We think the location really helps us serve those that are really in need. It makes it convenient,” said Cheryl Fama, the Peninsula Healthcare District CEO.

While some people had appointments, other people who were in the neighborhood ended up stopping by for a vaccine.

“I decided to get my booster,” Fernando Castro said.

Castro was at his son’s baseball game near the pop-up clinic and had no plans to get a vaccine on Saturday.

“Nope! Didn’t plan on it. Someone came by and told me, I was like, yeah, might as well get it over with,” he said.

Canepa said the pop-up clinics are a crucial way to make it easy and convenient for people to get vaccinated, often in underserved communities.

“These pop-ups are a strategy where you’re not going to get those huge numbers,” he said. “What the pop-ups have allowed us to do is get with people who are trusted, community partners — people who’ve actually been in the community.”