SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – California on Monday released details surrounding its contract with Blue Shield to create a statewide COVID-19 vaccine distribution network.
The contract with Blue Shield – effective Monday, Feb. 15 – requires vaccines to be available to 95% of Californians within 30 minutes of urban areas and 60 minutes in rural areas.
Officials expect 3 million doses per week by March, and 1.4 million per week by the end of April.
According to the contract, the state will pay vaccine providers directly for startup costs, ongoing support, and incentive payments.
The contract with Blue Shield aims to “create, contract with and manage a statewide vaccine administration network” and to allocate doses directly to providers, which will include pharmacies, public and private health networks and hospitals, pop-up sites and community health centers, according to the statement.
Weeks ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom abruptly announced a more streamlined vaccination system in which the state would play a more centralized role.
Currently, the state allocates doses to county public health departments and hospital and health care networks, but counties say they don’t know what the hospitals have and everyone wants more vaccine.