California to spice up COVID-19 vaccine rollout with Blue Shield contract


Insurer Blue Shield of California has agreed to assist the state greater than double its weekly COVID-19 vaccinations by early March via a brand new partnership that went into impact Monday.

The 55-page contract posted Monday is priced at $15 million, with Blue Shield accountable for growing and managing a state vaccine community as a 3rd social gathering administrator for an equitable, environment friendly rollout. Gov. Gavin Newsom beforehand mentioned the new state vaccine distribution system pays suppliers to supply pictures in weak neighborhoods and communities of shade, whereas additionally accumulating demographics on who’s getting the pictures.

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The transfer comes as counties proceed to face vaccine provide points, with Los Angeles shutting down some vaccination websites whereas nonetheless others opened elsewhere, suggesting a bumpy rollout.

“At Blue Shield of California, our purpose is to work carefully with every county, their public well being leaders, and state officers to construct a vaccine community that’s solely constrained by the variety of vaccines we obtain,” mentioned Paul Markovich, president and chief government officer, Blue Shield of California, in a assertion posted Tuesday. 

Markovich mentioned the state will decide vaccine eligibility, precedence and allocations, although the contract mentions the insurer will suggest algorithms for the federal government to undertake, with an equitable give attention to allocation and appointment prioritizations. Fox News has requested remark from Blue Shield.

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In an announcement shared with Fox News, the state mentioned it contracted Blue Shield of California as a result of it boasts “community administration experience,” and a PPO community spanning over 63,000 medical doctors and almost 400 hospitals. The community covers all counties within the state, and in keeping with the assertion, “is the one well being plan on Covered California that has a PPO community protecting each residential zip code within the state.”

Among different objectives outlined within the contract, Blue Shield will assist the state attain 3 million vaccinations per week by March 1, ramping as much as 4 million per week by the tip of April.

State knowledge reveals over 6.1 million vaccines have already gone into arms, out of some 8 million pictures delivered to the state. Data compiled by the Los Angeles Times suggests a seven-day common of over 176,000 vaccines administered every day, putting the March 1 purpose at greater than twice the present vaccination charge.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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