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What Exactly Is Newsom Thinking Putting Blue Shield In Charge Of Vaccinations?

File: California Gov. Gavin Newsom looks on during a news conference on Jan. 16, 2020 in Oakland. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom, struggling to salvage a once-bright political future dimmed by his mishandling of the COVID crisis, tapped nonprofit health insurer Blue Shield of California last week to allocate the state's COVID vaccine.

The agreement with Blue Shield was made under an emergency authorization, circumventing the customary bidding process, and the company has thus far said little about how it plans to reorganize a gargantuan and complicated vaccination campaign that has befuddled and frustrated public health officials and vaccine seekers alike.

So we have some questions about this choice. Namely:

  1. Is Blue Shield up to the task?
  2. Was Newsom's decision politically motivated?
  3. Is Blue Shield well placed to accomplish the equitable distribution of vaccines to underserved communities that Newsom called "the North Star" of the new centralized system?
  4. What could have motivated Blue Shield to tackle such an onerous assignment?
  5. How will Blue Shield's results be measured?


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