Newsom Administration Announces TPA for Vaccine Distribution, Transition to Age-Based Framework
This week, the Newsom Administration announced several sweeping changes related to COVID-19 vaccine allocation, distribution, and administration. The Administration framed the forthcoming changes as lessons learned from the state’s 10-day one-million vaccine doses challenge from earlier this month. Led by the Government Operations Agency (GovOps) and the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), the Newsom Administration will be implementing the following changes:
- Vaccine Prioritization Eligibility – Beginning mid-February, the state will implement a statewide standard under which health care workers, individuals age 65+, education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture workers will be eligible to schedule appointments to receive the vaccine. These are the groups identified in the state’s Phase 1B, Tier 1 framework.
Future groups, according to the state, will become eligible based on age. The statewide standard will move in unison across all 58 counties and is anticipated to allow the state to scale capacity while ensuring vaccine is delivered to disproportionately impacted communities.
- Information and Data – The state launched MyTurn.ca.gov, an online vaccination appointment and notification platform. Individuals will be able to sign up for a notification when they become eligible to make an appointment, schedule their vaccination appointment, and be reminded when it is time for the second COVID-19 dose. MyTurn.ca.gov was piloted in Los Angeles and San Diego counties this month. The MyTurn system will additionally automatically report vaccination information to state data systems, reducing data lags and providing real-time information on vaccine administration at local and statewide levels.
- Third-Party Administrator – The state announced it will establish the California COVID-19 Vaccination Network to be operated by a third-party administrator (TPA) to speed the equitable allocation and delivery of vaccines directly to providers. Reports indicated the TPA will be Blue Shield of California with support from Kaiser Permanente. The vaccine provider network is expected to include public health systems, pharmacies, health systems, public hospitals, community health centers, pop-up and mobile sites. Notably, according to the Administration, local public health systems will play a key role in the network as vaccine providers and by providing insights and knowledge to ensure the network reaches disproportionately impacted residents. Few details on the TPA are available, and the transition to the TPA network is anticipated to occur over the coming weeks.
The full announcement from the Newsom Administration is available here.