Governor Gavin Newsom announced several COVID-19 vaccine delivery system changes last week. While overall vaccine supply into California will continue to be dictated by the Federal government, California will implement three changes regardless of quantity of vaccine available:
- Beginning mid-February, the state will implement a statewide standard under which health care workers, individuals 65 years of age and older, education and childcare workers, food and agriculture workers, and emergency services personnel can make appointments to receive the vaccine, pending vaccine availability. Future groups will become eligible based on age.
- A new system, known as My Turn, will allow Californians to learn when they are eligible to be vaccinated, make an appointment when eligible, and track vaccination data. My Turn will also help track those who have yet to receive a second vaccine dose and need additional outreach. Clinicians will be required to either administer vaccines via the My Turn scheduling system or an electronic health record with an automatic data feed into the state’s system.
- California will build a statewide vaccine administration system. It was announced that Blue Shield will lead the effort to manage a network of providers to distribute and administer vaccines at numerous venues statewide. The vaccine provider network is expected to include pharmacies, health systems, public hospitals, pop-up and mobile sites, and community health centers. It is reported that Blue Shield will also design a system of financial incentives to encourage providers to use their vaccine more quickly and create a real-time data aggregation and reporting system. In addition, Kaiser Permanente will be responsible for inoculating its nine million members, and creating and overseeing at least two vaccination sites.