Revamping California’s COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution
Sacramento, CA — Governor Gavin Newsom is pledging a more seamless coronavirus vaccination system that should make it easier for residents to know when it is their turn to get vaccinated and where to sign up.
The state will move to an age-based eligibility system after vaccinating those now at the front of the line, including health care, agricultural workers, emergency personnel, and seniors 65 and older, relayed Newsom. A state site will also allow residents to make an appointment when it is their turn.
“Our state and county public health leaders have done the important groundwork to get California’s vaccination plan up and running and we are grateful to them and will continue to partner with them,” said Newsom. “We have learned that to accelerate pace we need to dial up the scale of our efforts to ensure vaccine supply goes into arms as quickly as it arrives in the state.”
As coronavirus cases soared and hospital beds filled up with patients in much of the state, there was criticism of the state’s slow, rocky vaccine rollout, with counties imposing different requirements and vaccination systems. State health officials attribute the slow vaccination rate of only 2.4 million administered with 4.5 million doses shipped to the national vaccine shortage.
The goal in revamping the delivery system is to build one that equitably and efficiently administers vaccines when supply increases, according to state health officials. To oversee the plan, Today Gov. Gavin Newsom named Yolanda Richardson as secretary of the government operations agency that will spearhead operations and delivery. Richardson will work with private third-party administrators to decide where the state’s supply of vaccine should go as the federal supply ramps up to meet demand. Those private administrators have not yet been named.
The change means counties and hospital networks that have been scheduling appointments and determining eligibility under broad state guidance will move at a more uniform pace, speeding up delivery. This statewide standard will move in unison across all 58 counties. Under the new plan, the third-party administrators will allocate vaccines directly to providers, which will include county public health systems, pharmacies, public hospitals, community health centers, and pop-up sites.
The state has also launched a website called “My Turn” where people can sign up to be notified when they are eligible for a vaccine and to schedule appointments. It will also help track those who have yet to receive a second vaccine dose and need additional outreach.
Newsom made sure to stress that 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.”