Coronavirus Response Newsletter

Updated Implementation Timeline Announced for Statewide Vaccine Network 

Today, the state of California and Blue Shield of California announced in a press release that on March 1: 

  • All providers and local health jurisdictions will move to uniform, state-directed eligibility criteria.
  • Blue Shield will begin making allocation recommendations to state officials for doses delivered the following week. The state will make final allocation decisions, continuing to use the existing split that prioritizes 70% of doses for those 65 and older, and the other 30% in the educational, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture sectors. (Note: Included in that is the 10% 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.)
  • Wave 1 and Wave 2 counties continue onboarding (counties listed on page 11 of this slide deck).

On March 7: 

  • Wave 2 counties continue and Wave 3 counties begin 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.

Transition for Statewide Vaccination Network Through March Announced

On today’s weekly California Department of Public Health (CDPH) COVID-19 vaccine provider office hours webinar, the state and Blue Shield announced transition details for the new statewide vaccination network — including the launch after March 31. The slide deck and a recording have been posted. Key details included:

  • Providers need to join Blue Shield network by March 22; network goes into effect after March 31: Provider status in the current network does not change through March 31. Providers who wish to continue vaccinating after March 31 will need to join the Blue Shield network by March 22, as it takes five to seven days to complete the onboarding process. All providers currently approved to vaccinate will maintain that status and will continue to receive doses throughout the transition period. Both the state of California and Blue Shield presenters specifically stated that they would work to provide second doses to vaccinators.
  • Vaccine allocations: Blue Shield will make recommendations about vaccine allocation to providers based in part on key performance measures. Key performance measures include (but are not limited to) contribution to equitable administration of vaccine, and signing a contract committing to adopt the performance management system, including My Turn.   
  • Transition plan to be created with county leaders: Together, Blue Shield and all local health jurisdictions will develop a transition plan. The plan will include achieving equity goals and transitioning all jurisdictions to a new performance management system by March 31.
  • My Turn is required, and application programming interface (API) is being developed: To participate in the network, a provider must use the My Turn application. The state is building a generic API for My Turn to connect with electronic health record interfaces. It is also working with Epic and Cerner on the interfaces for those systems to then connect to My Turn.
  • Multi-county entity allocations are by county: During the Q&A, the state clarified that multi-county entities (MCEs) need to keep allocations within the specific counties for which the MCE was allocated the doses. In other words, MCEs are not to move doses around between the counties for which they were provided by the state’s allocation. 
  • Blue Shield next steps: 
    • Providers interested in joining the vaccine network should contact them at [email protected].
    • Existing providers registered in the state’s COVID-19 vaccine system will receive information from the state’s provider communication channels.
    • The state and Blue Shield will work directly with providers and provider associations on enrollment processes. 

Blue Shield Sends Letter to Vaccination Providers 

Today, Blue Shield sent this letter to all current vaccination providers about the transition to the new statewide vaccine delivery network. Note that the letter cites March 15 as when the new network would be managed by Blue Shield, not March 31, as announced this morning on the webinar and in today’s press release. CHA will confirm that March 31 is the effective date of the network and provide an update, once available, via Coronavirus Response.

ICYMI: Update on CHA’s Advocacy on the Statewide Vaccine Delivery Network

In case you missed it, in yesterday’s CHA News, CHA provided an update on its continued advocacy with the state and Blue Shield on this new network, as well as the recent announcement of provider contract revisions by Blue Shield. 

Next CDPH Call for Health Care Facilities: March 9, 8-9 a.m. (PT)  

Dial: (844) 721-7239  
Passcode: 7993227 

Summary of Feb. 23 CDPH Call

CDPH has provided a summary of its recent weekly call with health care facilities. 

Data Resources 

  • State Resources: Monitor ICU capacity by region or by county.
  • CHA Resources: Hospitals can access county dashboards through the CHA COVID-19 Tracking Tool, which includes hospital-specific data on ICU capacity.