OAKLAND, Calif. (March 26, 2021) – Blue Shield of California, as the state of California’s third-party administrator, today announced it has reached its target for the expansion of the State’s COVID-19 vaccine provider network a month ahead of schedule. California now has capacity to administer more than 4 million doses a week to help save more lives. The increased capacity also includes a growing number of providers, local health jurisdictions, Federally Qualified Health Centers and pharmacies, including Walmart.
The increased capacity from the creation of a single statewide network supports Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan for Californians, 50-years of age and older, to be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines beginning April 1. Starting April 15, everyone 16-years of age and older will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
“The anticipated increase in vaccine supply from the federal government in the coming weeks and the state removing age eligibility tiers in April is giving all Californians much-needed hope,” said Paul Markovich, president and CEO, Blue Shield of California. “This is exactly why we’ve been working so hard to transition to the new centralized vaccine network – one that is only limited by the amount of vaccines we receive. This is the way we can save more lives, beat the pandemic and reopen our society.”
California’s enhanced vaccine network has grown to more than 270 providers with the infrastructure to deliver vaccinations at more than 2,100 sites across the state, helping to ensure all eligible Californians have equitable access to the vaccines, especially those in communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
The network continues its focus on reaching the state’s most vulnerable communities including rural areas and areas California has identified as high priorities for vaccine availability to meet equity goals (lowest quartile Healthy Places Index).
During the March transition period, the providers already administering the vaccine will continue to receive doses to ensure vaccines are available to as many Californians as possible.
The latest list of participating vaccine providers can be found at this link.
Blue Shield is a nonprofit health plan that’s answering the call by the state to support its vaccine distribution efforts to help save lives. The health plan is working closely with each county, their public health leaders, and state officials to build a vaccine network to help meet the state’s goal to ensure all Californians have access to the vaccines equitably, efficiently and as quickly as possible.
The health plan is taking on this effort at cost without making a profit from the state. Blue Shield is not charging the state for its staff time devoted to this effort. It will only bill the state actual expenses to support the network up to the limit of the contract.
About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with over 4.5 million members, over 7,500 employees and more than $21 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $150 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last four years to have an impact on California communities.
For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit news.blueshieldca.com.