SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KION) The California Department of Public Health says it will be standardizing vaccine eligibility criteria in the coming days.
Starting on March 1, the CDPH and Blue Shield, a third-party administrator, said they will move to a single standard in an effort to reduce confusion that can result from standards that vary by county. They said the standardized criteria will apply to all providers and local health jurisdictions. Counties will no longer be making decisions about individual vaccine priorities.
Blue Shield said it will also start making recommendations for vaccine allocation at that time based on state criteria. The state will make the final allocation decisions, according to the CDPH, and will continue splitting 70% of doses for people aged 65 and older; 30% for people working in education and childcare, emergency services or food and agriculture and 10% for educational and childcare workers.
The CDPH said the allocation applies to first doses only. Second doses will be sent to the provider who gave the first dose.
On March 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state is also expected to be on track to have the capacity to administer 3 million vaccines each week.
"While supply is still extremely limited, we need to prepare now for a time in the near future when supply increases and hopefully dramatically," said Yolanda Richardson, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency and the state's lead on vaccine operations. "We are well on our way to hitting our 3 million doses per week capacity goal, and by the end of April, our goal is to create the capacity to administer 4 million shots per week."
Counties and providers are continuing with onboarding into the state vaccine network in waves. Monterey and San Benito Counties are in the second wave and Santa Cruz County is in the third. Blue Shield is expected to have full management of the vaccine network on March 31.