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The official count of COVID-19 shots in older adults is distorted. What’s going on?

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In many states, everyone over the age of 65—and then some—have gotten at least one shot to vaccinate against COVID-19, according to counts by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Analysis by researchers at Northeastern and partner institutions indicates that the CDC counts, when compared with census data, show that 117% of older adults in Massachusetts, and 140% of older adults in New Hampshire, have gotten a shot. Indeed, data for 26 states, including all of New England, would indicate that more than 100% of people above age 65 have gotten at least one shot.

How is that possible? The short answer is, it’s not.

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