The Newsom Administration released information today regarding the creation of a new statewide COVID-19 vaccine delivery network. The vaccine distribution and operations effort will be led by Yolanda Richardson, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency, in consultation and partnership with Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the California Department of Public Health.
Currently, California is vaccinating 125,000 people per weekday and has administered 2.5M vaccine doses in seven weeks. However, the state will implement three changes based on the lessons learned from its 10-Day Vaccine Challenge:
1. Simplifying Eligibility: In simplifying eligibility beginning mid-February, the state will implement a statewide standard under which health care workers, individuals 65+ and education and child care, emergency services and food and agriculture workers will be eligible to start making appointments to receive the vaccine, pending vaccine availability. These are the groups identified in Phase 1B, Tier 1.
Future groups will become eligible based on age. This statewide standard will move in unison across all 58 counties. This will allow the state to scale capacity up while also ensuring the vaccine goes to disproportionately impacted communities.
2. Standardizing Information and Data: Leveraging California’s innovation and technology assets, the state is officially launching My Turn today, a new system for Californians to learn when they are eligible to be vaccinated, a place to make an appointment when eligible and a mechanism to easily track vaccination data. Through My Turn, individuals can sign up for a notification when they are eligible to make an appointment and schedule one when it is their turn. My Turn will also help track those who have yet to receive a second vaccine dose and need additional outreach.
Having been piloted in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, individuals can visit https://myturn.ca.gov/ to register for a notification immediately. Scheduling appointments beyond the pilot counties is expected to be available in February.
The My Turn system will also automatically report vaccination information into state data systems. Providers 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. This will reduce data lags and give real-time information on how we are doing at the local and statewide levels.
3. Addressing Available Supply by Streamlining Vaccination Process: Based on recent learnings, the state vaccine team will build on the work of counties and health providers to coordinate vaccine delivery statewide, with an eye toward ensuring safety, equity and the fastest possible delivery of vaccine.
California will build a statewide vaccine administration network to speed the equitable delivery of current supply to eligible Californians. The state, through a Third Party Administrator (TPA), will allocate vaccines directly to providers to maximize distribution efficiency. This will also give the state greater visibility into what is happening on the ground.
The vaccine provider network is expected to include public health systems, pharmacies, health systems, public hospitals, community health centers, pharmacies and pop-up and mobile sites with an immediate focus on allocating to today’s high-throughput providers. The vaccine provider network will expand as vaccine supply grows and vaccine characteristics change, with fixed and mobile sites used to meet the needs of individual communities. Local public health systems will continue to play a key role as vaccine providers and by providing their unique insights and knowledge to ensure the network reaches disproportionately affected Californians.
During this afternoon’s press conference, Dr. Ghaly emphasized equity as a focus for this vaccine allocation framework.
- Vaccines will be allocated to make sure low income neighborhoods and communities of color will have access to vaccine.
- Providers will be compensated in part by how well they are able to reach underserved communities.
- Real time date will allow for adjustments to be made if initial targets aren’t met.
While the state will drive faster administration of available vaccine supply, overall vaccine supply into California will continue to be dictated by the Federal government.
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