SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Santa Clara County is on board with the coming expansion of vaccine eligibility, although still short of vaccine.
But the county has struck a deal with the state to maintain control of vaccine distribution.
Public health confirmed Thursday that the county and the state have signed a memorandum of understanding that the state’s contract with third party Blue Shield California to decide who gets the vaccine will not apply in Santa Clara County, says Dr. Marty Fenstersheib.
The agreement ends weeks of protest over what critics called the Blue Shield take over. Opponents argued a plan billed as a way to streamline vaccine distribution would instead leave communities hard hit by the pandemic further behind.
They insisted local community organizations have a better handle on how to get the vaccine to those most in need, says County Supervsor Cindy Chavez.
Under the agreement, Blue Shield would continue to deliver vaccines to the counties but residents will continue to book appointments through the county’s system as opposed to using the state’s “My Turn” program, which has been fraught with problems.
The governor’s plan to open vaccinations to everyone over 16 next month would make another 400,000 people eligible in Santa Clara County.
Another 58,000 doses is expected to arrive on Monday, but it’s nowhere near enough to meet the growing demand.