Delays Emerge in Blue Shield Vaccine Rollout

This week, 10 counties in the inland portions of Central and Southern California were slated to transition to the new vaccine distribution system helmed by Blue Shield — but limited communication, technical challenges and lack of transparency have resulted in delays for at least three counties. Meanwhile, the state is overhauling its equity program after young, healthy and wealthy residents in Los Angeles and San Francisco obtained vaccine access codes intended for vulnerable Californians.

It’s just the latest setback for the Golden State, which enlisted Blue Shield to speed up and streamline a slow and chaotic rollout. But although San Joaquin County was among those set to finish onboarding to the Blue Shield system by Monday, “nothing’s really transitioned at this point in our county,” Greg Diederich, the director of the San Joaquin County Health Care Services Agency, told me Wednesday. Diederich added that the county “didn’t get a lot of direct dialogue” with Blue Shield “until Thursday last week,” when the insurance giant passed along model contracts for vaccine providers.

Diederich: “Nobody to my knowledge has really signed that contract.”

Fresno County is also still in the process of “discussing that transition plan,” with a new projected launch date of March 1, Joe Prado, the county’s health division manager, said at a Tuesday press conference. Stanislaus County on Monday said it still hadn’t received any guidance from Blue Shield. …

Click here to read the full article from CalMatters.org

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