25K vaccines given to Nevada County residents
This month, Nevada County will be among the “second wave” of counties to transition to a third-party vaccine administrator — Blue Shield of California — according to Nevada County Health and Human Services Director Ryan Gruver.
Blue Shield of California signed a contract with the state Feb. 12.
According to the state Department of Public Health’s website, the third-party provider will “help the state optimize and accelerate COVID-19 vaccine allocation and distribution equitably, efficiently, and safely throughout the state.”
“My understanding is that that will be mid-(March), depending on how quickly they can get contracts in place with all the providers,” said Gruver, on the transition’s expected timing in Nevada County.
According to Gruver, the move is non-optional for both counties and individual providers, potentially meaning “consistent reporting across the state” as all parties participate in MyTurn, as well as supporting management systems such as MyCAVax.
“That’s one of the key things that a third-party administrator is bringing to the table, so everybody is going to be participating in MyTurn as well as the systems behind the scenes that support that,” Gruver explained. “So, that should bring additional consistency in reporting and hopefully some ability to track things in a more meaningful way and a more public way.”
According to Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann, local officials have had regular meetings with Blue Shield as they prepare for the transition to the third-party administrator becoming “the main provider of these immunizations” by the end of the month.
As of Wednesday afternoon, according to Gruver, available data shows around 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Nevada County residents. Of these, he said 69%, or around 17,000, have gone to individuals 65 or older.
“With a population of 28,000 seniors, we still have quite a few more to get to before we have fully vaccinated that population,” said Gruver.
According to Gruver, there has not been any indication at this point that the transition to Blue Shield as a third-party administrator will change the county’s allocations of vaccine doses.
“Right now, because we have more people over 65, we get a proportionately higher share of the allocations, and the third party administrator, for now, is following the state’s framework,” said Gruver.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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