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San Diego County delays joining the state's Blue Shield vaccine program

Virus Outbreak
Posted at 5:22 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 10:39:29-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego County has not yet opted in to the state's vaccine distribution deal with Blue Shield of California.

As of Wednesday, the only county to participate, so far, is Kern County.

On Thursday, ABC 10News was unable to get an interview with County Supervisor Chair Nathan Fletcher, but at Wednesday's county press conference, he said in part, "We're working with Blue Shield. We're in ongoing discussions. We have some questions and there are active talks that are underway ... [Nothing in the] nature of the ongoing discussion is impacting our ability to get vaccines or impacting our ability to administer vaccines."

A county spokesperson said on Thursday that they cannot discuss contract negotiations but they're interested in how Los Angeles County has requested to remain independent and said that San Diego County is also considering that.

Los Angeles and other counties have shown reluctance in joining, arguing that it'll take away local control and add bureaucratic layers.

According to the terms, Blue Shield will use an algorithm to help the state in allocating vaccines directly to providers.

The governor has said that it will create a more efficient, faster, and equitable process.

On Thursday, a spokesperson with the California Department of Public Health wrote to ABC 10News, "The state, as part of the transition to a system where the state directly allocates vaccines to specific providers, is working with counties to finalize language to memorialize their continued role as vaccine providers."

Blue Shield reports that it's working towards the state's goal of administering four million doses a week.