OAKLAND, Calif. (March 31, 2021) – Blue Shield of California, the state of California’s third-party administrator, today announced it has successfully transitioned the state’s enhanced COVID-19 vaccine provider network that can administer 5.5 million doses a week to help save more lives.
The dramatically increased capacity is the result of collaboration between state health officials, local health jurisdictions and about 300 providers throughout the state who operate nearly 2,200 vaccination sites.
Together, the network reaches more than 99% of Californians and 99% of those who live in the Healthy Places Index lowest quartile areas. (Access to vaccine providers based on the state’s requirement of 10 miles in urban areas and 30 miles in rural areas.)
“Equitable distribution of the vaccine is a top priority for the state of California and we have made great progress in building a statewide system that supports that goal,” said Paul Markovich, president & CEO, Blue Shield of California. “There’s still more work to do as more providers and local health jurisdictions join the statewide network. Together we can overcome this pandemic and save more lives, especially Californians living in the most vulnerable communities.”
California continues to build positive momentum as it readies to receive increased supply of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government in the coming weeks.
In addition to building the state’s capacity to administer 5.5 million doses a week, other key milestones include:
- 34 local health jurisdictions (LHJs) have joined the state’s enhanced vaccine network, representing the vast majority of Californians. More LHJs are expected to join in coming days.
- 1,400 clinics have onboarded to My Turn, the state’s vaccine scheduling system.
- Equity momentum is building with significant improvement in vaccination rates among Californians who live in Health Places Index lowest quartile communities.
- More than 2 million appointments have been scheduled through the state’s My Turn system, enabling the third-party administrator to more effectively track vaccines and make equitable allocation recommendations to the state, which makes the final allocation decisions.
It’s important to note providers whose patients are awaiting second doses will continue to receive vaccine allocation from the state in order to complete those vaccinations. In addition, Blue Shield will continue to onboard eligible providers who are interested in participating in the state’s enhance network to help 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.
More information about Blue Shield’s support of the state’s efforts can be found at this link.
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.