California Department of Public Health officials announced on Feb. 26 that California is on track to create the capacity to administer three million vaccinations per week by March 1.
“While supply is still extremely limited, we need to prepare now for a time in the near future when supply increases and hopefully dramatically,” said Yolanda Richardson, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency and the state’s lead on vaccine operations. “We are well on our way to hitting our three million doses per week capacity goal, and by the end of April, our goal is to create the capacity to administer 4 million shots per week.”
That three million capacity figure includes both providers in the Statewide Vaccine Network and other providers who receive their vaccines directly from the federal government. When additional vaccine becomes available, the state is in position to quickly scale up operations.
As counties and providers are onboarded in the coming weeks into the Statewide Vaccine Network, MyTurn.ca.gov will become the main source for Californians to sign up for appointments.
Over 500,000 vaccinations have been administered via My Turn, and more than 1.6 million Californians have signed up for a My Turn notification.
Next week, My Turn will begin piloting the use of single-use codes, allowing community-based organizations, navigators or others to sign up members of disproportionately affected or other prioritized communities. This feature also minimizes the unauthorized sharing of codes.
Over time, providers administering vaccines will be required to use My Turn or an electronic health record that automatically shares vaccination data with the state’s immunization databases, and to work with the state to connect into the My Turn platform.
The use of My Turn will also help the state have greater visibility into who is getting vaccinated and how to better fine-tune equity-focused allocation and outreach efforts. This will be a key component of the state’s continued focus on vaccine equity.
My Turn is available in eight languages, and for those without internet access, appointments can be made by calling (833) 422-4255. The hotline is available in English and Spanish, with third-party translators available in more than 250 additional languages.
Blue Shield of California, the state’s Network Administrator, has expeditiously contracted with large volume providers across the state, with a focus on those providers who serve Wave 1 counties.
“The enhanced network will build on the state’s existing capacity and vaccination processes that are working well, while enhancing state oversight of the vaccine supply and accountability for all vaccine doses to ensure equitable access to vaccines for communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” said Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California. “The state will continue to have responsibility for allocating the vaccine to ensure Californians get the protection they need from Covid-19, and we are working diligently in support of those efforts.”
The state and Blue Shield also announced an updated implementation timeline for the Statewide Vaccine Network.
On March 1:
– All providers and local health jurisdictions will move to a uniform, state-directed eligibility criteria, eliminating confusion on who is eligible to receive a vaccine on a county by county basis.
– Blue Shield of California will begin making allocation recommendations based on criteria set by the state to state officials for doses delivered the following week. The state will make final allocation decisions, continuing to use the existing split which prioritizes 70 percent of doses for those 65+ and the other 30 percent in the educational and childcare, emergency services and food and agriculture sectors. Included in that is the 10 percent set aside for educational and childcare workers. This allocation is for first doses only, with second doses being sent to the provider who administered the first vaccination dose.
The data-driven allocation criteria will continue to evolve to reach equity targets and will be adjusted to reflect newly-eligible populations.
– Wave 1 and Wave 2 counties continue onboarding. (See counties included in each wave below.)
– In partnership with the counties, continue targeted equity strategies in place, such as farmworker mobile and pop-up sites, opening clinics in lowest quartile HPI tracts, etc.
On March 7:
– Wave 2 and Wave 3 Counties Continue Onboarding
On March 31:
– Blue Shield will take full management responsibility for the statewide vaccine network and continue providing vaccine allocation recommendations to the state to assist in its allocation decisions.