As State Surpasses 30m COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Governor Identifies Additional Vaccination Strategies

The Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom this week identified a series of actions to build upon the state’s work to vaccinate California’s hard-to-reach communities against COVID-19. As part of the effort to promote COVID-19 vaccines, California Governors Newsom, Brown, Schwarzenegger, and Wilson created and published a new PSA, available here. The Governor’s announcement includes seven distinct strategies to support COVID-19 vaccine rollout, including:

  • Vaccine Progress Data: The state’s website now displayed data on the state’s progress in vaccinating groups and communities, including statewide and country progress by the Vaccine Equity Metric (VEM), race and ethnicity, or age. Dashboards are anticipated to be updated weekly on Wednesdays.
  • Phone Bank and Door-Knocking Campaign: A new state “Get out the Vaccine” effort will coordinate with 70 community-based organizations to employ callers and door-knockers to help residents make a plan to get vaccinated. The program is in partnership with Healthy Future California and the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s STOP COVID CA initiative. About 2,000 individuals from targeted communities will be employed to make peer-to-peer appeals and provider support to overcome vaccine barriers.
  • CBO Support: The state is expanding its partnership with the Public Health Institute (PHI) Together Toward Health initiative, bringing the total amount of funding to $85.7 million and supporting a total of 480 organizations to date. The state is also partnering with the Sierra Health Foundation on a new $29 million Vaccine Equity Campaign to invest in CBOs and faith-based organizations statewide. The new funding builds upon previous funding awarded by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) to support community-based trusted messengers and other related outreach efforts. Additional information is available here.
  • Vaccine Equity Grants: The state is making available an additional $34.2 million in funding for underserved and high-risk communities and ZIP codes most impacted by COVID-19. Counties with a population over one million will receive $1.5 million for every one million people. Those with populations between 500,000 and one million will be eligible for $650,000 in grant funding. Counties with populations under 500,000 will be eligible for $350,000 in funding to expand vaccination programs and achieve equity goals.
  • Vaccine Equity Plans: The Governor’s Office notes that leaders of California’s 61 local health jurisdictions, working in partnership with the state’s third-party administrator, created and submitted plans to the state to promote vaccination equity in their communities. This includes a wide range of approaches, from small mobile vaccine clinics in remote areas to engaging influencers to reach specific groups or populations to partnering with schools and faith-based partners for outreach, education, and selection of vaccine sites.
  • Vaccines for Homebound Residents: Homebound residents can contact their health care provider to receive an in-home vaccine. The Governor’s Office notes that these services are expanding statewide and individuals may also utilize or the state’s CA COVID-19 hotline to be connected with their LHJ to arrange for in-home vaccination.
  • Transportation to Vaccine Appointments: Individuals who do not have transportation means to reach their vaccine appointment can receive free transportation through or by calling the state’s CA COVID-19 hotline. Transportation includes automobile transit for ambulatory patients and non-emergency medical transportation for non-ambulatory patients including wheelchair vans, gurney transit, and other options. Medi-Cal managed care and fee-for-service beneficiaries will be connected with their health plan or service provider to access this service as an existing health benefit.

Additional information from the Governor’s Office is available here.